SESSION 1: 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
The Value of Authentic Community Engagement
MRB Group, Diana Smith
This session is for both planners and elected officials and will discuss one of the most important elements of municipal planning: public engagement. Getting residents to feel substantial “ownership” of planning outcomes can go far in uniting and strengthening a community. When done well, the benefits of authentic public engagement go beyond any single planning effort; they are long-lasting and impactful -- for everyone.
Liabilities and Pitfalls of Social Media
Association of Towns, Katie Hodgdon
An increasing number of municipalities are using social media to communicate information to and interact with their residents. But what about the person who repetitively posts vitriolic comments about the town supervisor - can the town block that use or delete the comment? Can a municipal official with a personal social media page block users? This course will address these questions and more, covering the First Amendment concerns triggered by social media and local governments, as well as what constitutes protected speech, the levels of protection such speech is entitled to, an analysis of public forum doctrine and where social media falls on this spectrum, and a review of various federal cases. Practical tips will be offered in drafting a social media policy. Questions are encouraged during this session!
FOIL, Open Meetings Law, Mandatory Publications
New York State Department of State, Kristin O'Neil
Overview and answer questions about the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which governs the rights of access to government records. Also, an explanation of the Open Meetings Law, which concerns the conduct of meetings of public bodies and the right to attend those meetings. A discussion of the principles underlying the FOIL and the Open Meetings Law would put both laws in context.
Critical Infrastructure Protection for Your Municipality
NYMIR, Karen Buckley
The safety and well-being of your municipal water, sewer and other critical infrastructure are deeply intertwined with cybersecurity practices. This session is designed to empower municipal leaders with knowledge necessary to safeguard vital systems. Municipal infrastructure is a prime target for cyberattacks, and this session is your key to protecting what matters most. Participants will delve into the world of critical infrastructure protection. They will gain insights into risk assessment, a crucial step in understanding vulnerabilities and threats to essential systems. Incident response strategies will also be discussed ensuring that you know the strategies of preparation when faced with a breach of your systems.
Area Variances: A Deeper Dive
New York State Department of State
Area variances are the most frequent appeal before most zoning boards of appeals. This session is a thorough exploration of each factor of the area variance test with examples and discussion of details often missed and concepts often misunderstood. Tips and best practices for review, decision-making, and documentation, with several court case examples that address key legal considerations and challenges will also be highlighted.
Navigating Building Codes
CPL Architecture, Brian Kulpa and Justin Steinbach
Court Clerk Class