Elected Officials Workshop

Join us for an exclusive LIVE workshop for Michigan Municipal Officials Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at the Okemos Conference Center

Date and time

Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 11:30am – 6pm


Okemos Conference Center 2187 University Park Drive Alaiedon Township, MI 48864


Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes is delighted to announce the return of our highly sought-after, free half-day workshop, benefiting municipal officials of all levels. Join our expert attorneys for practical insights into addressing unique challenges faced by officials. Attendees will receive a complimentary boxed lunch and can join us for a relaxed cocktail hour after the workshop. Reserve your seat now as seating is limited.


Presentations at a Glance:


Kyle O’Meara | Matthew Kuschel

Solar: Why it Won’t Go Away and What to Do About it

Advances in alternative energy have made solar more viable. Elections have changed the faces in Lansing. Learn about the economics of solar and why it continues to be such a hot topic. Get the latest update on talks in Lansing with possible far-reaching impacts to your local government. Take action today to enhance your community consistent with resident priorities and help preserve local control in zoning.


Matthew Kuschel | Jacob Witte

Agricultural Exemptions: What they are & What they are not

“It’s agriculture, so it’s exempt.” This is a common refrain in township halls and local meetings across the state. Farming is a critical and important industry that rightfully has many protections. Unfortunately, unscrupulous landowners increasingly believe “farm” is a magic word to escape common sense regulation and avoid being a good neighbor. But farming is neither magic nor a blank check. Learn how to distinguish a real farm from a “magic farm,” what exemptions exist, and how your township can remain engaged with rural residents.


Christopher Patterson | Hannah Stocker

FOIA & OMA: The Sunshine Laws

Transparency, transparency, transparency. But to what an extent? Learn how to keep your citizenry informed and apprised of governmental decisions and actions within the context of the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. Join us as we explore the requirements of each act and provide an overview on how to navigate public disclosure issues before they arise.


Chad Karsten | Lindsey Gergel

General Board Procedure

A township board encounters hundreds of issues in any given year: from special use permits to special assessments to ordinance amendments. Sometimes determining the procedure the board must follow when addressing these issues is half the battle. In this presentation, we will address general board procedures such as notice, public meetings, motions, and Robert’s Rules of Order.


Trent Cunningham | David Szymanski

Zoning/ Building Strong ZBA Decisions

Not all Zoning Board of Appeals decisions are equally defensible, and often the decisions could be bolstered by following strong procedures and arriving at independent factual conclusions. Learn about the ZBA’s authority and the best practices for making ZBA decisions. Join us for a discussion about the requirements for granting a variance and the best practices for structuring a meeting, deliberation, leveraging staff reports, and making strong ZBA decisions that are supported by independent factual findings.


Christopher Patterson | Jacob Witte

First Amendment Audit

First amendment audits. Public outbursts. Personal attacks on officials. Heckling during meetings. Refusals to leave township property. Targeted social media rants. These aggressive tactics are too often adopted by members of the public and can be exceptionally challenging for elected officials. This presentation will explore the boundaries of freedom of expression as it relates to township business, best practices for defusing tense situations, and where to draw the line in dealing with difficult members of the public.


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At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.