Annual Conference

Please plan to join us for the 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibit at Dubuque's Grand River Center, September 25-27! Registration opens June 3.
This conference is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa's elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. "Refresh Your View" at this event planned just for you!


 A Message from League President Peterson

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 Conference News


See You there. We're Out of the Office

Monday, September 23, 2013

We’re packing up and moving operations to Dubuque during the Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 25-27. The conference takes the whole staff out to Dubuque, so we’ll be slow in responding to phone calls and emails during this time and may not get back to you until Monday, September 30.
Bring your questions to Dubuque! We’ll see you there!

Preparing for the Annual Conference

Monday, September 16, 2013

The League's Annual Conference workshop schedule always features a wide variety of topics and speakers that provide quality information, and this year in Dubuque will be no different. With more than 40 workshops to choose from, attendees will have a full menu of training opportunities designed specifically for city officials.
Veterans of the Annual Conference & Exhibit often suggest that it is helpful to develop a schedule for the workshops that you want to attend. Going over the conference brochure and reviewing the workshop descriptions will help get you started. It is also wise to use the League's online schedule page and download calendar appointments. If multiple members from your city are attending the conference, we suggest going over the workshops that stand out and breaking up so your group can cover as many of the workshops as possible.
A comment that League staffers often hear from conference attendees is they wish it was possible to attend more than one workshop at a time. To help make up for those missed workshops, the League will place all of the handouts and presentations online and attendees can check them out during and after the conference.
With the conference fast approaching it is time to start developing a schedule of the workshops and events you want to attend. Remember to use the Annual Conference page on our Web site to get all the information you need. See you next week in Dubuque!

Service Event at Conference

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Each day you serve the citizens of your community, so we know you value service. We’ll continue that tradition of caring with a service event at the 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibit in Dubuque. During some downtime at the conference, you can join Green Iowa Americorps members in mixing and creating green cleaning products, which will be donated to Dubuque-area non-profits and distributed to residents and participants in their programs. No pre-registration is required and conference participants can also take home the recipes for these products, enabling everyone to implement these solutions in their own home.
This year’s Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 25-27 at Dubuque’s Grand River Center, will also include more than 40 workshops. Registration is still open, so join us to refresh your view at this event planned specifically for Iowa’s city officials!

Annual Business Meeting and Legislative Priorities

Friday, August 30, 2013

On Friday, September 27, at the Annual Business meeting during the Annual Conference & Exhibit, voting delegates will consider the legislative priorities for the upcoming 2013 legislative session. The proposed language was unanimously approved by the Legislative Policy Committee on July 31 and by the Executive Board on August 22. Review the proposed priority language prior to the Annual Conference.
Anyone from a member city is encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting. However, each member city is only allowed one vote and must designate a voting delegate. The authorized delegate is the mayor or the mayor’s designated alternate. If the mayor chooses to not attend the conference or will not be able to participate in the meeting, the mayor must designate an alternate, which must be done in writing and submitted to the League 10 days prior to the meeting. The League has a sample letter to help you do just that.
If the mayor has not appointed an alternate in advance, a member city official in attendance may request that the presiding officer of the meeting designate an individual as the voting delegate. The appointed alternate must fill out the appropriate credentials before 5 p.m., Thursday, September 26; this may be done at the conference registration desk.
If you haven't done so already, there is still time to register for the Annual Conference & Exhibit! See you in Dubuque, September 25-27!

Join us in the Exhibit Hall

Monday, August 26, 2013

Be sure to boogie over to the disco-teamed exhibit hall during the Annual Conference & Exhibit from 6-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25 and the morning of Thursday, September 26. Under the disco ball, feel groovy while enjoying appetizers, networking, games and prizes. Be sure to introduce yourself to the exhibitors, who will be strutting their stuff on the dance floor.
There are still booths available, check out the exhibitors planning to attend.

By the Numbers

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hurry and register for the 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibit before Thursday (August 22), so you won’t get stuck paying the late fee. After Wednesday (August 21), the member fee for conference goes from $185 to $240. The promotional discount of $60 for registering online for both the League conference and Dubuque’s Growing Sustainable Communities conference also expires on August 21, so hurry!
The League conference includes more than 40 workshops, numerous networking events and is the largest training in the state geared specifically to you—the elected and appointed municipal officials in Iowa.
Not convinced? Let’s do some math: with 46 workshops, that’s just $4.22 per workshop. If you add the three general sessions now you’re at just $3.78. But long-time conference attendees will tell you the event is about more than just the workshops and general sessions; it includes the exhibit hall, networking, receptions and the chance to spend a few days refreshing your view as you connect with your peers and discover new ways help your city.
Spencer Mayor and League Board President Reynold Peterson has been attending the League’s conference for 10 years (and counting). He chatted with us during last year’s conference; take one minute to hear why he thinks you should attend in this year’s event.

Discounts and Deadlines

Monday, August 12, 2013

Early registration discounts for 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibit expire soon. After August 21, the member fee for conference goes from $185 to $240. The promotional discount of $60 for registering online for both the League conference and Dubuque’s Growing Sustainable Communities conference also expires on August 21, so hurry!
Haven’t made overnight accommodations yet? You’re in luck! The Hotel Julien Dubuque reduced their room rate from $189 per night to $109 per night. Check your registration receipt or the delegate brochure that was mailed to you city this spring for more information about hotels.
More information about the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit, to be help September 25-27 at Dubuque’s Grand River Center, is available online.

Cities Take Center Stage

Friday, August 02, 2013

In addition to more than 40 workshops geared toward city officials, the League's Annual Conference & Exhibit also showcases our cities. Dubuque will show off some their recent projects during the mobile workshops. And there’s still time to sign-up to attend one of these; check out the schedule for more information.
The most notable event to recognize cities is the presentation of the All-Star Community Awards, which takes place during the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening. Cities aren’t the only group to shine during the Awards Banquet. Those committed to cities will also be honored when a young city official is recognized for their service and dedication to cities and the newest inductees into the League’s Hall of Fame are announced.
Even your city will be showcased during the Annual Conference & Exhibit—when you talk about your community to other city officials. Many valuable lessons at the event may come from conversations with peers, when you talk about and learn from each other.
Learn more about this Annual Conference & Exhibit, including a list of workshops and speakers, then register online. Remember to register before August 22 to receive the reduced registration rate.
See you in Dubuque, September 25-27!

IMFOA Certification Credits Offered at Annual Conference & Exhibit

Monday, July 29, 2013

Members of the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association (IMFOA) can receive up to nine flex credits during this year’s Annual Conference & Exhibit on September 25-27, 2013, in Dubuque. Flex credits are used by IMFOA members to become an Iowa Certified Municipal Clerk or Iowa Certified Municipal Finance Officer. Attendees can earn up to three hours of flex credit for Wednesday workshops, another four hours of flex credit will be offered on Thursday and the conference will conclude on Friday with two hours of flex credit, with no partial credit offered each day.
The credit offered on Friday includes a special workshop session designed especially for city clerks and those interested in municipal finance. Attendees will be able to choose from "Protecting Public Assets" which will offer instruction on improving internal controls and fraud prevention or "TIF Reporting, Internal Loans and Certification" which will review the first year of recently established TIF reporting requirements. Learn more about the exciting and informative line up of workshops designed to meet the needs of municipal professionals. Register now.

Conference Workshops Track Focuses on Small Cities

Friday, July 22, 2013

Attendees of the League's Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 25.27 in Dubuque, will be have a wide variety of workshops to choose from, including a track that focuses on issues small cities face. The workshops listed below will feature information and guidance of particular interest to small city officials. However, as with all workshops, officials from any sized city are welcome to attend.
Keep it Clean: Best Practices for Park Maintenance (Thursday, September 26, 9-10 am)
City parks are one of the cornerstones to a happy, healthy community as they offer citizens a place to move around and enjoy the outdoors. As such, it's important for cities to regularly maintain these valuable assets. Hear how your city can efficiently keep its parks well maintained and ready for use.
Law Enforcement Contracting (Thursday, September 26, 10:45-11:45 am)
While all cities in Iowa are required to provide effective law enforcement services, the method to deliver the service can vary from city to city. Learn best practices to contract out these services and hear what options are available for cities to provide citizens with this essential service.
Best Practices for Community Fundraising (Thursday, September 26, 2:15-3:15 pm)
Whether it is to fund new books for the library, life-saving fire equipment or possibly a new community center, fundraising is an important source of revenue for most cities. A panel of city officials will discuss how cities can improve their fundraising efforts.
Revitalizing Downtown (Thursday, September 26, 3:30-4:30 pm)
A healthy and vibrant downtown points not only to economic health but the overall quality of life in a community. Learn about cost effective solutions to revitalize downtown areas and lessons learned from cities.
Why Cities Need Job Descriptions and Personnel Policies (Friday, September 27, 8-9 am)
This workshop will provide an overview of why job descriptions and personnel policies are absolutely necessary in all cities, regardless of size. The session will highlight resources for writing descriptions and policies while highlighting the organizational and legal reasons to have these documents in place.
The small city workshop track is part of the conference's overall workshop schedule, which includes nearly 40 options that cover a range of issues important to city officials. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.

Invitation From President Peterson

Friday, July 12, 2013

To my fellow city officials:
If you’re anything like me, time can get away from you. Add city responsibilities on top of job and family duties and you’ve got the recipe for a hectic schedule. So I’m taking a moment out of my crazy schedule to remind you to set aside some time to attend the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit in Dubuque in September. This is one of my favorite events of the year – a chance to step out of the daily grind and focus on my role as mayor of Spencer. I think this year’s conference theme “Refresh Your View” is really appropriate. Conference is my chance to get a different perspective on the issues my city faces, find new resources and catch up with old friends. I do come home from the League’s Annual Conference refreshed and a little more optimistic about my role for the city. It’s true. League staff even caught me on camera raving about Conference. Check out the video. [Also posted above.]
This year’s event is especially exciting for me because it culminates the end of my year as the League’s President. I’m looking forward to my President’s Reception at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in its new location and invite you to join me for the festivities while you are at conference. While I’m a little sad to hand over the gavel, I must confess to being a little excited to reclaim a little personal time. (Can you blame me?)
Take a moment and register now. Seriously, there’s a late fee after August 9. I don’t want you kicking yourself for not registering earlier. With your schedule, you don’t have time for that!
Reynold Peterson | League Board President & Spencer Mayor
A note from the League: Feel free to pass this invitation on to your peers. President Peterson's invitation is for all League members. To help you share this invitation we created a pdf you can print and pass around, or foward this message via email. We join President Peterson in inviting you to Dubuque, September 25-27 for the Annual Conference & Exhibit!

League Conference Features Workshop Track for City Clerks 

Monday, July 08, 2013

The League's Annual Conference & Exhibit, to be held September 25-27 in Dubuque, will offer a specialized track of workshops for city clerks. The clerk track was a popular addition last year as attendees enjoyed being able to pick from two workshops designed to provide guidance and information for city clerks. This session will occur on Friday, September 27, 9:15-10 am. As with each workshop offered at the conference, all city officials are invited to attend. This year, the clerk track will include the following workshops:
Protecting Public Assets
Public officials have a fiduciary and ethical responsibility to properly use and safeguard the assets of their city. To do this, procedures can be put in place to improve internal control, deter fraud and create an ethical organization.
TIF Reporting, Internal Loans and Certification
Tax increment financing has many options that may require internal loans, certifications and external borrowings. Keeping track of all this information can be a challenge. This session will review the results for the first reporting year and preview the additional requirements for 2013.
The city clerk track is part of the conference's overall workshop schedule, which includes nearly 40 options that cover a wide range of municipal government issues. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.

Workshops Galore at the League's Annual Conference

Friday, June 28, 2013

The League's Annual Conference & Exhibit in Dubuque will offer attendees nearly 40 workshops covering a wide range of topics important to city officials. After attending some of the Wednesday afternoon workshops and visiting the exhibit hall that evening, attendees will have numerous learning opportunities the next two days.
The Thursday lineup includes four sessions that each feature several great workshops. The two morning sessions (9-10 a.m. and 10:45-11:45 a.m.) will have workshops on topics such as open meetings, tax increment financing, debt collection, law enforcement contracting and urban chickens.
Following lunch, there will be two more sessions on Thursday (2:15-3:15 p.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m.) that offer workshops on a variety of topics, including nuisance abatement, financial planning, property taxes, downtown revitalization and council member orientation programs.
The Friday morning session (8-9 a.m.) will feature another strong menu of topics, including local option sales taxes, utility rates and healthcare reform. With so many different educational offerings some attendees could feel overwhelmed. One tip is to plan ahead by reviewing the full conference schedule. If a city is sending multiple attendees they can cover more ground by attending different workshops.

Four Great Mobile Workshops at League's Annual Conference

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The League's Annual Conference & Exhibit will include four great mobile workshops featuring projects around the host city, Dubuque. Always one of the highlights of the workshop schedule, the mobile workshops allow attendees to get out of the classroom and see interesting and informative city projects. Here is a preview of the four mobile workshops offered this year:
Preserving History & Creating Opportunity in Downtown Dubuque (Wednesday, September 25, 1:30-4 p.m.)
This outdoor walking tour of the Historic Millwork District will feature a look at the city's efforts to redevelop the area, including the use of Complete Streets and a visit to the Roshek Building. The district, once one of the largest millworking concentrations in the U.S., sat mostly vacant since many of the industries closed in the 1960s and 1970s. However, a revival has begun when several buildings were renovated for new uses. The iconic Roshek Building, once a nine-story department store, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a LEED Gold certified building that houses IBM’s first global service center opened in the U.S. in the last 10 years. Learn how the city was able to spearhead this important project.
America's River III: Bee Branch Creek Restoration (Thursday, September 26, 9-11:30 a.m.)
As part of the larger America's River project that has made sweeping changes to Dubuque's riverfront, the Bee Branch Creek Restoration will bring significant improvements to the community. Few cities in the U.S. have conceived of or attempted "daylighting" a creek for flood protection and water quality improvements. The project will invest over $100 million in flood protection and water quality improvements for local residents and businesses while placing priority on deconstruction and sustainable design best practices. The project will also serve as a gateway from Wisconsin to Iowa, connecting national and regional trail systems and reinvigorating one of Dubuque’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Learn about Dubuque’s successes and future opportunities to foster and form lasting partnerships with local, state and federal entities.
Creating New Housing Opportunities Downtown (Thursday, September 26, 2:15-3:15 p.m.)
The walking tour of Dubuque Main Street upper story living rehabilitations will offer options and pointers for city officials as they experience three diverse examples of living space in Dubuque’s urban center. Leaders will discuss a variety of development tools for these long-term investments, demonstrate pitfalls and show examples of how building code flexibility was necessary as participants walk through superior projects. There will be ample time for questions.
Leveraging Partnerships & Open Space for Business Expansion, Retention and Recruitment (Thursday, September 26, 3:30-4:30 p.m.)
In 1997, Dubuque acquired five farms (about 900 acres) with approximately 550 acres becoming Dubuque Industrial Center West (DICW). 2009 and 2010 saw expansion of the DICW as over 233 acres were sold and 24 businesses located in the DICW, including 21 local expansions and three new industries. The city has seen unprecedented growth in the area, selling more than 125 acres in less than three years. Hear from project leaders how the city was able to identify the industrial area and bring needed development to the community.
The mobile workshops require pre-registration, which can be done when registering for the Annual Conference. More information about the full schedule of workshops and other conference events is also available.

2013 Reduced Registration Rate

Monday, June 17, 2013

The League offers an early registration discount for the Annual Conference & Exhibit, to be held September 25-27 in Dubuque. Members who register for this event before August 22 get $55 off registration, taking the price from $240 to $185. Did you know you also get $60 off your registration fee for either the League conference or Dubuque’s Growing Sustainable Communities Conference if you register for both events before that same date?
Hosted by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the 6th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is packed with sustainable ideas, plans and best practices. Held September 24-25 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, the Sustainable conference brings leaders from across the Midwest together to learn from each other.
A promotional code will be available at the end of both the League conference and Sustainable conference online registrations. Use the code through August 21 to receive the discount for either event as only one $60 discount will be applied. To receive the discount you must register online, and you must register for both events before August 22. So, register now!

Wednesday Can't Be Missed

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day one of the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is bursting with events just for you, Iowa’s city officials. From the workshops about the future of cities, fiscal planning and citizen engagement to the optional, add-on activities like golf, a mobile workshop or the Growing Sustainable Communities conference’s closing luncheon—this day can’t be missed.
Dig deep in your closets for the paisley and bell bottoms before joining the vendors on Wednesday evening for the Welcome Reception in the exhibit hall. Under the disco ball, feel groovy while enjoying appetizers, networking, games and prizes while the exhibitors strut their stuff at this event where disco attire encouraged. A current list of exhibitors is available online.
Learn more about all these events and others on our Web site, then register for this year’s Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 25-27 at Dubuque’s Grand River Center.

2013 Conference Registration Coming

Monday, May 27, 2013

​Registration for the League’s 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibit opens Monday, June 3. Cities should receive copies of the Delegate Brochure in their mailbox later this week.
The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. Learn more on our Web site, then register online on Monday to “Refresh Your View” at this event planned just for you!