This year’s 30 workshops are diverse and offer a great mixture of technical, nuts and bolts skills, big picture development, quality of place, utilities, and housing topics. Workshops pending with Continuing Legal Education credits are indicated on below, along with those with credit towards your Aim Municipal Management Institute certification.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Resources for Residential Development: How Indiana Communities Can Promote Housing (MMI)

Housing supply is a growing challenge for many Indiana municipalities; lack of available (and affordable) housing inventory limits population growth potential, makes it more difficult for local employers to recruit from a nearby labor force and even becomes a negative factor in pursuing economic development opportunities. This panel highlights available resources (state/federal incentives, financing tools and programmatic funding) and best practices for promoting new residential growth, along with a discussion of managing growth in terms of infrastructure and other impacts. Panelists will also discuss the findings of the housing task force empaneled by the General Assembly and how its recommendations could translate to policy outcomes.

Jenna Bentley, Government Affairs Director, Aim
Mark Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Indiana Association of REALTORS
Chris Watts, Vice President of Public Affairs, Indiana Association of REALTORS

How Can a BOT Project Work for Me?

Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) is one of many project delivery methods identified in Indiana Statue 5-23. A private developer will team with an architect and constructor to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a facility for a public entity. Attendees will learn how this new delivery method is helping many public entities throughout Indiana.

Patrick Davis, Executive Vice President Preconstruction and Partner, Meyer Najem Construction, LLC
Eric Ratts, Principal Architect, DLZ Indiana, LLC

Federal Advocacy in the Build Back Better Era (MMI)

Learn firsthand from a Government Finance Officers Association advocacy expert how associations have interfaced with congress and the executive branch on bills such as the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and how this level of engagement benefits all cities and towns.

Emily Brock, Director, Federal Liaison Center, Government Finance Officers Association
Dan Huge, Public Finance Director, Indiana Finance Authority

Bringing Your Community Broadband into the 21st Century (MMI) (CLE)

We are experiencing vast amounts of money being made available to communities for broadband expansion. This panel will provide an overview of the various funding opportunities that can be utilized to bring reliable broadband internet to your community. These funding sources include but are not limited to: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, American Rescue Plan Act, Community Connect Grant Program, ReConnect Program, Build Back Better Regional Challenge, Indiana Connectivity Program, and the Next Level Connections Grant Program. The panel will discuss the various ways your community can bring reliable broadband to its citizens and the challenges that may be faced with local, state, and federal regulations. Speakers will discuss examples of other communities utilizing broadband funding opportunities to bring faster and more reliable broadband to their communities. Finally, attendees will learn the importance of having the right broadband study plan and internal and external teams in place to achieve project success.

John B. Gregg, Associate, Ice Miller LLP
Christopher L. Miller, Partner, Ice Miller LLP
Lindsey Miller, President of Broadband Consulting, Lit Communities

How to Prepare for Litigation

Public entities are subjected to lawsuits more than any other insurance sector. What tactics should you use to help avoid litigation? What should you do when legal papers are served? Learn to avoid the destruction of litigation by steering clear of common “landmines” that could land you in legal trouble.

Betty Knight, Principle, Hoppe, Kurnik & Knight
John McKnight, President, Bliss McKnight, Inc.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Beyond Fiscal Recovery Funds: Leveraging American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Bill Provisions for Community Growth

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) are delivering significant funding and grant opportunities to state and local governments, territories, tribal governments, and U.S. territories as public sector organizations collaborate and strategize to address critical community needs. In addition to the $350 billion in relief funding to governments through the Fiscal Recovery Fund program, other provisions in the ARP offer direct and competitive funding to support economic development, transportation and infrastructure, schools, public health, housing, small business, and other COVID-19 recovery initiatives. There will also be more than $40 billion in new funding for utility projects through the SRF programs over the next 5years. This panel will provide an update on the current grant application opportunities with federal agencies, such as the Economic Development Administration (EDA), critical projects that can benefit from the Capital Projects Fund (e.g., broadband) and highly anticipated infrastructure legislation. Panelists will share the eligible uses for various funding provisions and creative ways to leverage relief and IIJA dollars following a strategic plan. This panel will be interactive and engaging and provide time to answer attendee questions.

Bill Harkins, SRF Program Director, Indiana Finance Authority
Tom Kaleko, Principal, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC
Rod Roberson, Mayor, Elkhart
Jeff Rowe, Partner, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC

Remote Work Incentive Programs for Community Attraction and Diversification

The pandemic dramatically accelerated a trend toward remote work, increasing the number of full-time remote workers in the U.S. alone from five million pre-pandemic to more than forty million post-pandemic. A recent national survey of remote workers by Upwork showed that 19 million remote workers plan to move in the next 36 months. These circumstances represent a unique opportunity for communities to recruit mobile talent, and benefit from the enormous economic impact they bring. Indiana has emerged as an early leader in this effort with statewide support for remote worker recruiting, home-rule based legislation to encourage municipalities, an early career remote worker fellowship to capture emerging young talent, and more. Join us to learn about the economic power remote workers hold as well as what Indiana is doing to harness it.

Deanna Burkart, County Council, Decatur County
Evan Houck, Co-Founder, MakeMyMove
Dr. Joshua Marsh, Mayor, Greensburg

Cyber Awareness: Improving Your Community’s Confidence (CLE) 

The Indiana Office of Technology will be on hand to discuss the purpose of domains and email addresses, HEA 1169 (2021) reporting requirements, cybersecurity training for local officials and employees, and the federal, state, and local Cybersecurity Grant Program passed in the IIJA. The overall goal is to improve each municipalities’ cybersecurity maturity to help prevent cyber threats and attacks and answer any questions that may arise among the attendees.

Graig Lubsen, Director of Communications and External Affairs, Indiana Office of Technology
Tad Stahl, Executive Director of the IN-ISAC, Indiana Office of Technology
Mike White, Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the Program, Indiana Office of Technology

Leveraging Liabilities: From Infuriating to Inspiring

Vacant and abandoned commercial storefronts, surface blight and road construction present daunting challenges to communities across Indiana. Evidence shows that these issues drag down local economies, impede community growth, depress property values, and impose heavy cost burdens on local governments. How can communities leverage these liabilities? What barriers might they encounter and how can they overcome them? How does this fit into wider community and economic development strategies? This session will feature a case study of the P.L.A.C.E. program (Placemaking Loans Accelerating Companies and Entrepreneurs) addressing vacant, blighted, and abandoned commercial storefronts; a case study of Elstro Plaza which addressed surface blight and a placemaking need in downtown Richmond; and finally, a case study on collaboration and communication during Loop Phase I road construction. Attendees will learn how each of these projects enhanced and underscored the validity of downtown development, leveraged public/private partnerships, the role of collaboration, how to develop a diverse funding structure with alignment of resources, and more.

Beth Fields, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Richmond
Dr. Dave Jetmore, Vice President and Interim Executive Director, Richmond Neighborhood Restoration
Dave Snow, Mayor, Richmond

How to Prepare for Litigation (CLE)

Public entities are subjected to lawsuits more than any other insurance sector. What tactics should you use to help avoid litigation? What should you do when legal papers are served? Learn to avoid the destruction of litigation by steering clear of common “landmines” that could land you in legal trouble.

Betty Knight, Principle, Hoppe, Kurnik & Knight
John McKnight, President, Bliss McKnight, Inc.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), New Tax Incentives and What Your Municipality Needs to Know

Governments often measure success through balanced budgets and surpluses. Incorporating considerations around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) may have a lasting impact on the sustainability of your city or town, and its ability to attract and retain people and companies. Through this session, attendees will learn what ESG is and why it has become such a hot topic for local governments, particularly those that are frequent bond issuers. Hear how ESG enables a municipality to have a comprehensive understanding of ESG-related risks, opportunities and possibilities that will shape your community’s future. Learn how to prepare to address ESG questions from investors, residents, and corporations. As ESG continues to gain momentum, learn about why a strategic ESG program for your city or town may make sense. The presenters will also discuss new tax credits and funding opportunities for sustainable projects that are authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Scott Miller, Partner, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC
Susan Reed, Managing Director, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC

Creative Aging: How to Support the Health and Well-Being of Older Adults through the Arts

Indiana’s demographics are shifting to an older population. There is substantial research that shows the arts can decrease isolation, mental health decline, and physical health decline. The Indiana Arts Commission will demonstrate the techniques, research, and best practices for supporting your community’s older adults through the arts.

Stephanie Haines, Arts Education and Accessibility Manager, Indiana Arts Commission
Roberta Wong, Dance Professional, Stage 1 Dance Academy

Changes Impacting Municipally Owned Utilities

Utility service forms the bedrock of your municipality’s success. Providing safe drinking water, stormwater, sewage disposal, and energy services supports and sustains municipal populations and their growth. Changes have swept over these capital-intensive services, from failing infrastructure, to digital transformation and cybersecurity, to emerging contaminants and stricter environmental standards, to federal funding opportunities and more. Learn how to address these changes to ensure your municipality’s continued vitality and prosperity.

Dave McGimpsey, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum

So You Developed a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan? This is Why Roundabouts Should be an Integral Part

Roundabouts are one of 25 Federal Highway Approved Proven Safety Countermeasures. More than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) intersection safety and design research facilitates the implementation of short-term safety improvements, and defines and evaluates long-term, higher payoff strategies to improve intersection safety. This panel will review the role roundabouts should have in your overall safety planning.

Jim Brainard, Mayor, Carmel
Mike McBride, Vice President, American Structurepoint

Vendor Solutions: Partner Perks: Online Tools & Technologies You Can Leverage Today

Navigating the countless services and tools available to increase your online portfolio can be difficult and intimidating. Join our session to learn about tools and products already available to local government partners through the Indiana Office of Technology’s partnership with Tyler Technologies. In this session attendees will learn about online security, website best practices, website solutions, and enterprise payment programs. In addition to important information regarding web security and website accessibility that you can use immediately, users will also leave with a full list of products and services that can be easily leveraged by your organization through the IOT and Tyler partnership.

Andrew Hoff, Senior General Manager, NIC Indiana / Tyler Technologies
Erin Kendall, Director of Operations, NIC Indiana / Tyler Technologies
Mike White, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Indiana Office of Technology


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

PFAS Regulations and Why Municipalities Must Pay Attention (CLE) 

PFAS chemicals or “forever chemicals” are widely used, long-lasting chemicals and their components break down very slowly over time. PFAS can be found in the air, water, and soil and scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects. This workshop will give an overview of the history of PFAS discovery, litigation, regulation, and science. In addition, the presentation will cover the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently released drinking water health advisories, and options for recovering costs and damages associated with PFAS detections and contamination.

Robert Bilott, Partner, Taft Law
Chou-il Lee, Partner, Taft Law

Find the Grants, Get the Grants, Administer the Grants

The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was signed into law in late 2021. Since that time, the State of Indiana and local units of government have been eager to access these new funds for varying kinds of infrastructure and programs. In this workshop, the presenters will lead a review of the IIJA grant programs available to municipalities, including direct funding specifically for transportation projects. Experts in grant administration will also discuss how to ensure fiscal officers, council members, and grants managers are prepared for any compliance requirements associated with state and federal grant programs.

Jay DuMontelle, Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration
Kathy Eaton-McKalip, Director LPA/MPO & Grants, Indiana Department of Transportation
Earnie Holtrey, Deputy Director of the Indiana Broadband Office, Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch
Christmas Hudgens, Community Development Block Grant Director, Office of Community and Rural Affairs

The Shared Humanity Approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B)

In response to local businesses and organizations wanting to improve their race, equity, and inclusion efforts, the City of Fort Wayne created United Front. By focusing on our shared humanity and the neuroscience of bias, United Front created a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment for community members to engage in productive discussions that provided learning around twelve different topics (individual bias, organizational bias, microaggressions, etc.). Within a year, United Front engaged more than 200 organizations and 8,000 individuals in monthly keynotes and virtual session focused on shared humanity. This workshop will help participants understand how United Front began, the growth behind United Front, the results and impact the initiative had, and the initiative’s keys to success. Attendees will also learn how to become a part of United Front and bring the initiative to their local community.

Iric Headley, Executive Director, Fort Wayne UNITED Mayoral Initiative
Dr. Debra Faye Williams Robbins, Deputy Superintendent, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Brenda Gerber Vincent, Chief Impact Officer, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

The Business Personal Property Tax Discussion and Implications of Reduction (CLE) 

This workshop will examine the business personal property tax and the role it plays on local government operations across the state. The presentation will examine BPPT in comparison to other states and how tax revenues are captured in states where the BPPT does not exist. In addition, the presenters will look at the fiscal implications of modifying the BPPT or eliminating the tax on new equipment and options to recover that revenue loss. This portion of the discussion will also include examples of the implications on current debt obligations that use the BPPT’s revenue as backing for bonds.

Brian Burdick, Managing Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLC
Chris Jensen, Mayor, Noblesville
Ethan Manning, State Representative, Indiana House of Representatives
Eric Reedy, President, Reedy Financial Group, P.C.

Reconnecting and Revitalizing Communities

Communities in west central Indiana have partnered with What’sUp 24/7, a community development network focused on reconnecting and revitalizing communities. The success formula of Community = Connectivity + Awareness + Culture was crucial to the Town of Oxford as they looked to improve quality of life and visitor attraction. Digital connectivity links individuals, businesses and organizations, and communities as equals promoting on a universal network. This workshop will share how to reconnect and revitalize your community by creating an effective online presence, even with limited resources.

Phillip Anderson, Community Development Consultant, Re Think
John Dockrey, Founder, What’sUp 24/7
Christie Hale, Clerk-Treasurer, Oxford


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Stacking the Deck Against the Great Reshuffle (CLE)

Dramatic changes in the labor market, the great resignation, remote work, rising inflation, and a focus on pay equity are causing an upheaval in compensation expectations for employees and organizations of all types. Have you changed your approach to compensation to keep up? This fast-paced session will help you understand the current competitive landscape and prepare for the future. The presentation will address topics such as increasing pay rates for entry level talent, maximizing your budget for annual increases, pay compression, and pay equity as well as creative ways to attract and retain talent. The workshop will also discuss what’s new in compliance in human resources related areas.

Megan Nail, VP Total Rewards Practice, NFP Insurance Services – First Person
Katy Stowers, Senior Vice President, Compliance & General Counsel, NFP Insurance Services – First Person

The ABCs of PCs, BZAs, and Your Legislative Body

This discussion will review the roll of the Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the local legislative body in the land use decision making processes. Not only will the workshop cover what each group can and cannot do, it will also discuss how effective ordinance changes can be made.

Deborah Luzier, Senior Planner, GRW Engineers, Inc.

Is Your Technology Safe: Practical and Functional Ways to Ensure Your Municipality’s Technology is Protected

Cybersecurity is at the forefront of conversations, but many municipalities struggle to know how to protect their IT infrastructure. This workshop panel will highlight practical, functional, and affordable ways municipalities can improve their practices, including understanding what’s on their network, how to implement a cyber framework, why to have multi-factor authentication, and how to train employees. The discussion will share valuable knowledge that gives municipalities the confidence they need to build and improve their cybersecurity practices. Attendees will leave with the knowledge of how to prevent a cyber-attack and what they should do if they end up a victim.

Mark Myers, Mayor, Greenwood
Jeff Roeder, Director of External Affairs, Sondhi Solutions
Tad Stahl, Executive Director, Indiana Office of Technology
Cody Tyler, Director of Infrastructure Operations, Sondhi Solutions

Healthcare Budgeting 101

Budgeting for employee benefits, especially healthcare coverage, can be intimidating and overwhelming. This workshop will break down the financial planning needed for health insurance by discussing the budget, premium development, and employee contributions. In addition, the presentation will cover the components of health insurance spend, fully insured versus self-funded plans, plan administration, claims expense, stop loss, and other key factors. The timing of health insurance renewal, industry standards, and plan management best practices will also be discussed.

Marcus Bowling, Senior Benefits Advisor, LHD Benefit Advisors
Amy Eberwine, Deputy Director, Aim Medical Trust
Ben Fuelberth, Senior Benefits Advisor, LHD Benefit Advisors
Dan Hedden, Partner, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors

Vendor Solutions: Digital Solutions to Modernizing Your Community: Guiding Clients into 21st Century Decision-Making

Digital technology has begun providing communities of all sizes with a centralized repository for system data. The information provides a powerful decision-making tool – allowing for the analysis of operational, asset based, environmental, demographic, and topographic data. This presentation will cover what a modern, tech-focused community looks like, and how Hoosier communities can best take advantage of their own technology and data. The workshop will cover how data invites collaborative opportunities with other entities, and how data can be shared and used to make decisions that benefit everyone. This includes identifying how departments, such as street, park, code enforcement, planning, utilities, engineering, and other entities, can work together to make cost-effective and impactful decisions.

Bill Etzler, Director of Business Development, Abonmarche Consultants, Inc.
Jeff Weaver, Director of Digital Solutions, Abonmarche Consultants, Inc.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Celebrating Community Successes

This workshop will feature a showcase of what the Towns of Yorktown, Plainfield, and McCordsville have accomplished in the last five years. The presentation will tell the story of how community leaders had the vision and the fortitude to make tough decisions to transform their communities and provide new spaces and amenities for residents while also attracting investment from outside the area. Attendees will hear stories of struggle, dissent, and frustration but also success, pride, and resiliency.

Tim Gropp, Town Manager, McCordsville
Tim Jensen, President, Veridus Group, Inc.
Andrew Klinger, Town Manager, Plainfield
Pete Olson, Director of Government Services, Veridus Group, Inc.

Long-Term Capital Planning

Join this workshop to learn how to develop a comprehensive long-term capital plan that includes cost, timing, and funding. The presentation will share how technology can assist with engaging stakeholders from department heads to council and how to promote the community to development partners.

Jared Duncan, Deputy Controller, Greenwood
Mark Myers, Mayor, Greenwood
Adam Stone, Owner, Stone Municipal Group
Greg Wright, Controller, Greenwood

It’s Raining Again! Goshen’s Flood Resilient Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change

The City of Goshen, like many communities in Indiana, has experienced damages from flooding. Most recently a catastrophic flood in 2018 overtopped roads and flooded multiple buildings. Climate change projections for the state suggest that floods will intensify and these trends are creating a sense of urgency among communities, like Goshen, to look for better ways to deal with flooding and build flood resiliency. This presentation will look at climate data and projections, provide evidenced impact of increased rainfall on stream corridors, and the implication for development in the floodplain. In addition, it will present flood resilience strategies, including policies to direct growth and development to safer areas that are less vulnerable to flooding and projects to protect the people and critical assets that already exist in the vulnerable flood risk areas.

Bob Barr, Research Scientist, Center for Earth and Environmental Science, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Sheila McKinley, Planning Director, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC
Jeremy Stutsman, Mayor, Goshen

Parks for All to Enjoy: Applying Inclusivity to Park Design

The panel will discuss how the integration of inclusive play features that exceed ADA requirements invites and enables individuals with disabilities to experience all that is offered. In Avon, Murphy Aquatic Park – “A Park for All to Enjoy” – is a state-of-the-art facility designed to enable children, no matter their ability, to play together. With this overarching goal, the park was created to integrate inclusive features throughout the 38-acre site and includes an inclusive water play structure, a multi-level play structure, beach entry activity pool, toddler play area, wave pool, and slide tower. In addition to the aquatic facility, there is a variety of things to do for all ages and abilities, including wooded and natural areas with trails, a fishing pond, sled hill, and an inclusive playground tucked into a climbing hill.

Lora Helmick, Park Director, Washington Township Parks and Recreation, Avon
Angie Monroe, Senior Sales Executive, Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc.
Jonathan Smith, Senior Project Manager | Landscape Architect, HWC Engineering

Attorney Peer Networking: Real Estate Essentials for Municipal Attorneys

The Attorney Peer Networking workshop is designed specifically for city and town attorneys and will cover the municipal buying and selling of real estate. Some specific discussion points will include liens, title work, right of way matters, and property donation. In addition, the Indiana Franchise Fee class action litigation which touches on public ROW usage will be discussed as well. Rest assured there will be plenty of time to address questions and discuss your current real estate-related challenges with your fellow lawyers.

Andrew Hull, Of Counsel, Hoover Hull Turner LLP
Mike Limrick, Partner, Hoover Hull Turner LLP
Cameron Starnes, Partner, Taft Law

Vendor Solutions: Targeted Financial Solutions from the Treasurer of State’s Office

Join key staff members from the Indiana Treasurer of State’s Office to learn more about a host of timely and important subjects for Indiana cities and towns. Topics include investment options for local governments, finding low-cost financing when borrowing, innovative approaches to tackling local governmental challenges, and much more!

Cindy Barger, Director, TrustINdiana
Brian Carman, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Indiana Bond Bank
Adam McCauley, Regional Director of Marketing, Public Trust Advisors, LLC
Mark Wuellner, Executive Director, Indiana Bond Bank


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Optimizing Your Asset Management Plan to Use it to its Highest Potential

Development of an optimized Asset Management Plan is an investment into controlling annual costs of owning infrastructure. A well-developed plan helps the agency identify trends, improve efficiency, and lower the cost per unit per year of ownership for owning the asset. The key milestones to an Asset Management Plan are inventory, condition assessment, optimization, planning, and reporting. Many basic plans skip the optimization and planning milestones and this is a missed opportunity that could help your community save money and create better infrastructure.

Nathan Frey, Transportation Team Leader, Southern Indiana/Kentucky, Clark Dietz, Inc.
Matt Nicholson, Mayor, Seymour

Workforce Housing: Creating Partnerships that Lead to Growth

The Town of Spencer in rural Owen County is headed for unprecedented growth due to years-long partnerships with corporate leaders, community entrepreneurs, state government, and private citizens all working collaboratively to bring hundreds of new homes to this small but vibrant community. This workshop will offer insight into how Spencer is becoming a laboratory of innovation for workforce housing by partnering with the Cook Group, a global medical device maker, to address the critical shortage of housing for its employees. In doing so, Spencer is also helping major employers solve their labor market needs at a time of record-high job openings and turnover. Leaders of this workshop will provide a framework for their success, dating back more than a decade, and will outline steps taken to expand critical infrastructure, develop sound growth policy, and build good relationships with their business community.

Drew Flamion, Project Engineer, Commonwealth Engineers, Inc.
Richard Lorenz, Attorney, Spencer
Michael Spinks, Council Member, Spencer
Ron Walker, President, Cook Medical Workforce Housing LLC

Strong, Cohesive Vision Spurs Reinvestment in Rural Downtown Communities

Rural communities in Indiana and across the Midwest have struggled with downtown decline for decades as development patterns have shifted and large, metropolitan areas have grown in population and amenities. To remain relevant and rejuvenate these historic centers, many communities have developed strategic plans for their downtowns. This workshop will explore two rural, central-Indiana communities and their downtown revitalization efforts – the City of Tipton and the City of Frankfort. Each city is in different stages of its planning and implementation of projects, but they will illustrate how they developed a consensus vision that sparked civic engagement and successful investment from their constituents and outside partners. The presenters will further discuss the key elements that are critical to creating a revitalization strategy and how their redevelopment strategies have, and continue to, impact their local communities.

Cecil Penland, Landscape Architect & Partner, Rundell Ernstberger Associates, LLC
Kegan Schmicker, Executive Director, Tipton County Chamber of Commerce
Kim Stevens, Main Street Director, Frankfort

Would the Sign Standards in Your Unified Development Ordinance Withstand 1st Amendment Constitutional Challenge?

In 2015, the US Supreme Court case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2218 (2015), determined that ordinances that treated signs differently based on content or subject matter cannot survive a 1st Amendment constitutional challenge. Armed with their own interpretation of Reed, sign companies have sought to install massive electronic billboards in the most populated areas of cities or towns. Then, if denied a permit or a zoning variance, the sign companies have brought lawsuits in federal court asking the court to find the ordinance unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds. One such case has already made it to the United States Supreme Court this past year. In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, 596 U.S. ____ (2022), the Court ruled that reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions in an ordinance can withstand intermediate scrutiny and be used to stop the installation of “off-premises” signs (signs advertising goods or services other than those provided at the location where the sign is installed). However, the municipality cannot have used the ordinance to restrict the speech of any particular speaker; that is to say the municipality cannot under pretext favor or disfavor any one point of view by using a facially neutral ordinance. The workshop will not only discuss the impact of Reed and City of Austin but provide practical input into what can be done to bolster the municipalities’ ordinances to avoid a constitutional challenge or at least provide defenses to the challenge. Participants in the workshop will receive information that could potentially save the municipality hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees or damages.

Matthew Branic, Attorney, Krieg DeVault, LLP
Libby Yin Goodknight, Partner, Krieg DeVault, LLP

Vendor Solutions: Don’t Leave! Keeping Employees in a Tight Labor Market

The “great resignation” is all over the news. However, there’s a lot you can do to keep your employees because, as the old human resources saying goes, “Employees don’t leave organizations, they leave managers.” Session attendees will learn how to provide meaningful professional growth and a department culture where employees want to stay – or in the worst-case scenario, where they want to come back after leaving. The workshop is designed to be interactive, with time for audience members to discuss issues and resolutions with their peers. Session attendees will learn department culture factors that matter to employees, employee engagement 101, and providing growth opportunities for all caliber of employees.

Woody Battle, Senior Consultant, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC
Allison Le May, Manager, Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC