On-Demand MemberLearn Courses
Jan. 18 — Online

alt=""The Foundational Program will begin with six on-demand, online MemberLearn courses. You will get access to these courses on Jan. 18 and will have access to them indefinitely. You will need to complete four of these courses ahead of the in-person portion of the program.

Complete these before Feb. 4! There will be in-person sessions that build on the skills you gained in these MemberLearn courses.

Welcome and Overview

Get to know the League, get introduced to the Foundational Program agenda, explore MemberLearn, and find out about the core competencies for elected officials. Seat time: 10 min.

City Structure and Roles

Core Competencies: policymaking, integrity and ethics
This course is made up of two MemberLearn courses combined: Structure and Function of Cities and Roles and Responsibilities. You’ll start by reviewing the different types of cities that operate in Minnesota, how city type impacts your role, and the limitations of what cities can or can’t do. Then, you’ll explore elected official and staff roles in city governance, including fulfilling duties under the law and lawfully exercising authority. Seat time: 60 min.

Open Meeting Law

Core competencies: integrity and ethics, communication, policymaking, meeting facilitation
Get introduced to the Open Meeting Law! You’ll gain appreciation for the requirements that the law sets forth and get tips on how to work together as a council in making decisions and setting policy. Seat time: 30 min.

Public Finance 101 and 201

Core competency: financial literacy
This combination 101 and 201 course will introduce you to city budgeting concepts. You’ll explore key public finance topics, including fund accounting, operating budgets, revenue and expenditures, and tax levies, ensuring you are equipped to communicate with confidence about your city budget. Seat time: 30 min.

Legal Landscape for Elected Officials

Core competencies: integrity and ethics, strategic planning and decision-making, managing risk, communication, community engagement
During this two-part course, you’ll review risk, your legal obligations, and social media best practices and legal issues for elected official. You’ll gain a greater understanding of your role in managing legal risk for your city including conflict of interest, data practices, and purchasing missteps. Then, explore the benefits and potential pitfalls of social media from a legal perspective. Seat time: 60 min.

Complete the following MemberLearn courses at your own pace!

Personnel Management

Core competency: personnel management
Understand your role in the city’s human resources processes, get a 20,000-foot perspective of public sector employment laws and policy, and have a clear understanding of how to work with your city manager or city administrator on all HR matters. Seat time: 20 min. Please note: this course does not need to be completed prior to the in-person program.

Communicating for Community Engagement

Core competencies: communication, equity and inclusion, community engagement
Explore communication strategies you can use when engaging your community. You’ll determine how to leverage your communication strengths, learn considerations for equity and inclusion, and discover ways to communicate with confidence and clarity on the issues that matter to your residents. Seat time: 20 min. Please note: this course does not need to be completed prior to the in-person program.

 

alt=""In-Person Program
Feb. 4-5 — Plymouth

Friday, Feb. 4

10:30 a.m.
Registration Opens

11 a.m.
Greeting from Host City

Jeff Wosje, Mayor, City of Plymouth

11:05 a.m.
Welcome and Program Overview

D. Love, Mayor, City of Centerville and League Board President; Adriana Temali, Education Manager, League of Minnesota Cities

11:15 a.m.
Elected Leadership: An Invitation to Make a Positive Difference

Dave Unmacht, Executive Director, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competencies: integrity and ethics, strategic planning and decision-making, servant leadership mindset

Examine the skills required to be an effective leader, including how values and ethics help shape your personal leadership style, and set a course for your public service career.

After this session, you will:

  • Possess insight into leadership expectations you will most likely encounter.
  • Be able to apply key skills to aid your experience as a leader and build relationships with others.
  • Reflect on your own personal leadership principles you bring to the city.

12 p.m.
Lunch

1 p.m.
Good Governance and Open Meeting Law

Amber Eisenschenk, Research Manager, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competencies: integrity and ethics, communication, policymaking, meeting facilitation

There’s a lot to learn as you get started in local government! This session will build off what you learned in MemberLearn as you walk through common Open Meeting Law challenges elected officials face. You’ll spend part of the session in small groups working through common meeting scenarios and have a chance to ask questions. Please note: this session builds on information learned in the Open Meeting Law MemberLearn course. It is recommended that you complete the course in MemberLearn ahead of this session.

After this session, you will:

  • Understand the basic requirements of an open meeting and how or when you can close a meeting.
  • Know common trip-ups your city may face and how to avoid breaking the Open Meeting Law.

2:15 p.m.
Break

2:30 p.m.
Public Finance in Context

Lisa Sova, Assistant Finance Director – Outreach, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competency: financial literacy

Put financial theories you explored in MemberLearn into practice as you discuss and examine common financial situations. You’ll spend part of the session in small groups where you’ll work through a public procurement scenario. Please note: this session builds on information learned in the Public Finance 101 and 201 MemberLearn course. It is recommended that you complete the course in MemberLearn ahead of this session.

After this session, you will:

  • Recognize your role in the city’s budgeting process.
  • Figure out critical components of public finance.
  • Have confidence in making budget decisions.

3:45 p.m.
Break

4 p.m.
Communication Skills for Successful Leadership

Ashley Aram, Senior Account Manager, Goff Public
Core competency: communication

Part of your new role is maintaining a positive public persona and communicating clearly and effectively with the public. This session will discuss the current environment for communicating with constituents and the media. You’ll also learn how to leverage the power of social media positively now that you’re a public figure.

After this session, you will:

  • Understand your role and know your audience.
  • Identify ways to build credibility and trust with residents.
  • Learn communication tips to help you communicate with confidence.

5 p.m.
Day One Recap

Adriana Temali, Learning Manager, League of Minnesota Cities

5:15 p.m.
Social Time

6 p.m.
Dinner and Remarks from League Leadership

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Saturday, Feb. 5

7:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8 a.m.
Advocacy at the Capitol

Gary Carlson, Intergovernmental Relations Director, League of Minnesota Cities; Anne Finn, Assistant Intergovernmental Relations Director, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competencies: policymaking, communication

In this session, you will identify the role you and the League play when lobbying at the Capitol. Gain insight into the League’s policy development process, get tips for communicating with legislators, collect information models and toolkits available to city councils, and become familiar with the way Minnesota cities make an impact in Washington D.C.

After this session, you will:

  • Know the League’s policy development process.
  • Understand how you can make an impact at the Capitol through advocacy efforts.

8:30 a.m.
Risk and Legal Obligations for Cities in Context

Patricia Beety, General Counsel, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competencies: integrity and ethics, strategic planning and decision-making, managing risk

Discuss common legal scenarios that elected leaders may face, including considerations around social media. You’ll spend most of this session doing group work walking through numerous examples of legal questions elected officials face. Please note: this session builds on information learned during the Legal Landscape for Elected Officials MemberLearn course. It is recommended that you complete the course in MemberLearn ahead of this session.

After this session, you will:

  • Be familiar with the legal standards and concepts you need to uphold as an elected official.
  • Have clarity on roles when working with city staff and city attorneys.
  • Know where to go when you need assistance navigating a tricky problem or have questions.

9:45 a.m.
Break

10 a.m.
Elected Leaders Panel

Panelists: D. Love, Mayor, City of Centerville and League Board President; Ron Johnson, Council Member, City of Bemidji and League First Vice President; Jenny Max, Administrator, City of Nisswa and League Second Vice President
Moderator: Luke Fischer, Deputy Director, League of Minnesota Cities
Core competencies: community engagement, equity and inclusion, strategic planning and decision-making

A panel of experienced elected and appointed officials will share their thoughts on the expectations and duties of an elected official. Come ready with all your questions so you walk away with tips on how to be successful in your role.

After this session, you will:

  • Feel confident with the duties and opportunities of your new role.
  • Understand how other elected officials manage challenges and expectations for their city.
  • Be able to apply insight on ways to have successful relationships with city departments and staff.

11 a.m.
The Power of Purpose

Jamie Fischer, PhD, Director of Training, Ethical Leaders in Action
Core competency: integrity and ethics, servant leadership mindset

All local government leaders want their communities to thrive — it provides a sense of purpose in the work. But how do you sustain yourself without burning out or burning bridges? How do you consistently engage others in a pursuit of common goals that puts your city, staff, and community first? This interactive session will present practical skills and techniques that will help you act with integrity, honesty, and fairness while strengthening relationships and building trust.

After this session, you will:

  • Recognize the power of purpose in order to maintain energy and focus.
  • Understand Greenleaf’s principles of servant leadership with the goal of incorporating them into daily leadership activities.
  • Relate the elements of moral action to leadership roles and responsibilities.
  • Be able to use ethical persuasion when interacting with fellow leaders, staff, and the community.
  • Know how to use fair process principles in civic discussions to build trust.

12 p.m.
Closing Remarks and Adjourn

 

Return to the main Foundational Program page.