In The News

  • Human Resources Management Webinar Now Available! 

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    The Human Resources Management for Cities webinar is now available! The webinar features guidance on successfully managing employees and understanding the major employment laws that affect municipal governments. Topics to be covered include workplace policies, employee manuals, performance evaluations and hiring best practices. It also includes an update on the new overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    What: Human Resources Management for Cities
    Speaker: Human Resources Consultant, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Registration: $35 | Register Online
    Below are the webinars available in the 2016 Webinar Series, more information on each webinar is available on the webinar series website.
    • Understanding Iowa's Property Tax System | Available Now
    • Assessing and Replacing Outdated Utility Infrastructure | Available Now
    • Placemaking: Building Your Community Identity | Available Now
    • Open Meetings and Open Records Laws and Best Practices | Available Now
    • Human Resources Management for Cities | Available Now

    Each webinar will be pre-recorded and released on the date listed. The webinars will be archived, giving registrants the ability to access and view any purchased webinar whenever they like. Webinars from the 2014 series and 2015 series are also archived and available for purchase.  

  • Iowa Lean Consortium honors David Fierke 

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) has named David Fierke, city manager in Fort Dodge, as the 2016 Iowa Lean Champion. The award was created to honor a leader who has made significant contributions to Lean practices and/or led a Lean journey for 10 or more years. The award was presented at the ILC’s annual fall conference on October 12.

    Lean is a methodology focusing on the elimination of waste within a process to improve time, cost and quality while providing customers exactly what they need.

    Fierke is the fifth Lean Champion to be recognized by the ILC. Recipients are selected based on multiple criteria including:

    • Leadership – Recognized leader in Lean and continuous improvement.
    • Sustainability – 10 years practicing in a leadership or change agent role.
    • Impact – Demonstrated and quantifiable business improvements.
    • Principle Based – Demonstrated key Lean principles of respect and continuous improvement.
    • Influential – Has been a role model and mentor to others.
    • Outreach – Leader in the community as well as in business.
    Learn more about the Iowa Lean Consortium and past Lean Champion Award recipients online.
  • 2017 City Calendar Now Available! 

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Check out the 2017 City Calendar and get a start on planning for next year. The calendar is an excellent resource to keep track of important dates and deadlines for reports and filings. A number of conferences and trainings are also listed to help cities plan future schedules. The calendar is one of several items we provide on our City Clerk Resources page to assist clerks in their role at the city.
  • IPERS Reporting Official Training to be Held in November 

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    ​The Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) will hold two free training sessions for reporting officials November 15 and 16 in Des Moines. The half-day training sessions are designed for reporting officials to understand their responsibilities and learn where to go for answers. Featured content includes:
    • The basics of how to submit wage reports and contributions on I-Que
    • Determining what types of compensation are subject to IPERS contributions
    • Information about your employees and the compensation paid to them
    • Take-home materials that you can use for future reference
    • Complex issues, such as optional coverage, temporary employment and adjusting wages
    Additional information and registration is available on the IPERS Web site. Registrations are due November 11.
  • NLC Releases 2016 Fiscal Conditions Report 

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    ​The National League of Cities (NLC) recently released its 2016 City Fiscal Conditions Report, which analyzes results from a large survey of city finance officers from around the country. This is the 31st annual fiscal conditions report published by NLC and it offers details on local revenues and expenditures, city budgets and municipal workforces. It also features survey and other research reports on the structure, health and factors affecting city finances, as well as resources for city officials to use in making better decisions.

  • Cities Eligible for Technical Assistance Program to Address Vacant and Abandoned Properties 

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    ​Cities are eligible to apply for the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program, offered through the Center for Community Progress. The program seeks to provide technical assistance to communities to assess, reform, develop, and/or implement systems to address large-scale vacancy and abandonment in their communities.

    Through a competitive application process, five finalists are selected to receive assessments of current challenges and potential for success. Three of the finalists will be selected to receive up to 400 hours of reduced-rate technical assistance from a team of national experts that specialize in relevant aspects of vacant, abandoned and problem property reclamation. Those finalists not selected for technical assistance scholarships will receive, at no cost, a brief diagnostic memorandum outlining observations from the site assessment to help guide local efforts to more effectively tackle vacancy and abandonment.

    Applications for the program are due November 17. Additional information and application instructions are available online.

  • If I Were Mayor Essay Contest 

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    Promoting good city government is important to the Iowa League of Cities, and the If I Were Mayor essay contest provides 7th grade students the opportunity to reflect on the role of the key elected official in their own city. To enter, 7th grade students need to return an essay and entry form by December 1, 2016. This contest is sponsored by Snyder & Associates​See the entry form for complete essay contest rules and details.​​​​​

  • Happy Birthday 

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    ​Join us in celebrating the Iowa League of Cities' 118th birthday! October 12 will mark 118 years of serving cities across Iowa and helping improve municipal governance. We look forward to continue serving our wonderful members! Happy Birthday!

  • MFPRSI Sets FY 2017 Contribution Rate 

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    The Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa (MFPRSI) recently approved the Fiscal Year 2018 contribution rates for employers and employees, resulting in a slight decrease to the employer rate:
    • Employee Rate: 9.40%
    • Employer Rate: 25.68%
    The contribution rate structure is established by Code of Iowa Chapter 411. The rate specified for the employees is set by statute, currently at 9.40 percent of earnable compensation. The rate for the employer is established each year by the MFPRSI Board of Trustees following the completion of an annual actuarial valuation. The current (FY 2017) employer contribution rate is 25.92 percent.
  • Assistance to Firefighters Grant Applications Due November 18 

    Friday, October 07, 2016

    ​Fire departments, fire districts and non-affiliated EMS transport organizations can apply for funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency, the program provides funding to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance for critically-needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operational efficiencies, foster interoperability and support community resilience.

    Applications must be submitted by November 18. Additional information, including application assistance, is available on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Web site.

  • Unclaimed Property Report Due November 1 

    Friday, October 07, 2016

    ​Cities are required to file the Unclaimed Property Report with the State Treasurer's Office by November 1 of each year. As potential holders of property cities must review records to determine if they are in possession of any unclaimed property. This may include unclaimed deposits or checks that have not been cashed.

    The annual report must be submitted electronically using the online system at the State Treasurer's Office Web site. Negative reports (no unclaimed property) are not required.

  • Reminder: FLSA Rule Change Takes Effect December 1 

    Thursday, October 06, 2016

    ​Cities are reminded of the new overtime rules announced in May by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that will take effect December 1. The rule change will increase the salary threshold for being classified as an exempt (or salaried) employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The current salary threshold is $23,660 annually or $455 per week. Effective December 1, this will be raised to $47,476 annually or $913 per week. The new rules also include a provision for increases to occur every three years so the threshold stays at the 40th percentile of full-time salaries in the lowest economic region of the country.

    It is important to note that in addition to meeting the salary threshold, exempt employees must also pass a duties test that determines if they fit into one of three categories: executive, professional or administrative. The new rules made no changes to the duties test or categories. Please visit our Overtime page to see more information about the duties test. If an employee does not qualify as an exempt employee through either the salary threshold or duties test, they must be classified as a non-exempt employee.
    A helpful fact sheet on the DOL's Web site offers more details on how the new rules will impact state and local governments. It also offers guidance for the use of compensatory time off, the special rules for fire protection and law enforcement employees, and other related information.

    The League recommends cities evaluate its workforce and review the exempt and non-exempt classifications of employees, job descriptions and duties, salary levels, and overtime and comp time usage. Keep in mind that exempt employees must meet both the salary threshold and duties test to be classified as exempt.
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Monday, October 03, 2016

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine ePub magazine for the October 2016 issue has been released.

    Take the time to chose your subscription preference: print, electronic or both. Unless action is taken, your subscription will continue to note a preference for print. Visit to change your preference.

  • IAMU to Host Water/Wastewater Operator Workshop 

    Monday, October 03, 2016

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) will host its 22nd Annual Water/Wastewater Operator’s Training Workshop on November 15-17 in Des Moines. The workshop will feature a wide variety of training for water and wastewater operators in three separate tracks: water treatment, water distribution and wastewater.

    Attendees may register for one day or all three days. Additional information about the specific training offered at the workshop and online registration is available on the IAMU Web site.

  • Registration Now Open for 2016 Budget Workshops 

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    ​Registration is now open for the 2016 Budget Workshops! The workshops provide the latest projections and information important to city budgets as well as guidance on completing the state budget form. Registration is $40, which includes lunch. As usual, we will be holding six workshops across the state in November and December:

    November 8 | Sioux City
    November 10 | Clear Lake
    November 15 | Red Oak
    November 17 | Cedar Rapids
    November 29 | Ottumwa
    December 1 | Ankeny

    All workshops run 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and will feature morning presentations on Budget Projections and Issues and an Iowa Department of Management Update. The afternoon will include two concurrent sessions: Budget Form Basics, which gives step-by-step instructions on completing the state budget form and Pro Tips: Best Practices for Preparing City Budgets and Fiscal Management, this year's advanced session that will cover effective ways to develop the city budget and present it as well as strong financial policies.

    More information and online registration is available on the 2016 Budget Workshops page. We look forward to seeing you this fall!