PSATS' 2021 Annual Educational Conference and Exhibit Show
Below is the Workshops' title and description.
On the next page, you will be able to enter your top ten choices.
Name Submission Initial Request for Proposal: Workshop Description:
Case Studies in Code Enforcement Using case studies, the presenters will discuss the proper enforcement of municipal codes, including nuisance ordinances and property maintenance and building codes. Participants will also learn about options available to deal with noncompliant properties and how to recognize those that require legal action.
Social Media - The New Public Forum Attend this session to learn more about the newest public forum, social media. The presenters will cover a number of concerns for local leaders, including navigating the First Amendment, the Right-to-Know Law, and record retention requirements.
Municipal Law Update Using an interactive, gameshow format, the presenters will review recent cases, legislation, and developing legal matters.
Land Use and Zoning Law Update Attend this session to learn about significant land use and zoning cases in Pennsylvania and changes and developments in related laws. The presenters will discuss how these cases and laws impact municipalities and their planners. Topics will include variances, special exceptions and conditional uses, and spot zoning.
Understanding Your Community’s Stormwater Obligations This program, designed specifically for new township officials, will cover the basics of municipal stormwater management. Topics covered will be helpful to communities with and without municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). And don't worry if you don't know what an MS4 will by the time you leave!
Collaborating for Healthier Waters and a Strong Ag Economy More than ever, residents recognize the benefits of buying local foods and supporting farmers. Townships are also recognizing that they can build strong relationships with their farming community to achieve mutual goals, including healthier waters and a vibrant agricultural sector. During this panel discussion, you'll learn how townships have taken action to protect, preserve, and enhance farmland while enhancing the local economy and preserving the community’s rural character.
Strategies for Community Revitalization Do you want to enhance your township's strengths and make the area more attractive to residents and business owners? Attend this workshop to learn strategies for community revitalization, including streetscape improvements, blight inventories and remediation, land banking, beautification, signage, and more. Real-world case studies will also be presented for discussion.
4 Township Leaders Share Their Stormwater Fee Experiences Engineer and financial specialist Bruce Hulshizer will moderate a panel of township leaders, who will discuss their experiences with stormwater fees. Learn why they chose to pursue a fee program, how they built it, and how they created public support. Officials will also discuss what they’ve learned and offer tips to municipalities who may be considering a similar fee.
Development Disasters and How to Defend Vacant, failed, or fledgling development projects can create a myriad of issues for townships, including poor maintenance, incomplete infrastructure, stormwater management impacts, and declining property values in the surrounding community. This session will explore how an approved, compliant land development can fail and what townships can do to protect themselves.
Common Sources of Municipal Liability and Risk Management Admittedly, this is a boring title for an important topic! If you attend this session, however, you'll walk away with a holistic understanding of municipal liability and the history of claims, the impact of COVID-19, and basic insurance terms and concepts. You'll also know exactly what to do once a claim is filed.
Can We Talk? 3 C's for Increased Roadway Safety In 2019, 44 emergency responders were killed in secondary crashes, and hundreds if not thousands of motorists and emergency responders were injured. So far in 2020, 33 emergency responders have been killed. This session will focus on motorist and responder safety, including how to clear roads and communicate, coordinate, and cooperate more effectively at emergency scenes
to make sure everyone goes home without incident.
Building - and Rebuilding - Public Trust in Local Government This session will focus on the decline of public trust in government and offer strategies that local leaders can use to build - and rebuild - it with the public. The presenters will explore the critical role of communication and the unique role that local government can play in the trust-building process.
Business Continuity Planning: Learning from COVID-19 COVID-19 required many organizations to answer a question they had never considered: How do we successfully continue operations during a global pandemic? Many succeeded; many others failed. This workshop analyzes the lessons learned from COVID-19 and what your township can do to successfully continue operations -- especially financial operations -- during the next significant business interruption, whenever and whatever it may be.
Municipalities Implementing Ag BMPs for MS4 credits The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opened the door to allow MS4 permittees to meet their pollutant reduction requirements with agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on private land. This workshop will showcase the process that Lancaster County municipalities use to identify farms and farmers for these conservation practices and calculate pollutant reductions that DEP will accept.
Collection Strategies in Times of Crisis In difficult times, townships face a double-sided challenge: They need to collect revenues for operations while knowing that some residents are struggling financially. Townships, therefore, must understand their legal options when collecting delinquent accounts in times of crisis. Strategies will be discussed that allow townships to work with struggling residents while still bringing in revenue from those who are able to pay.
Understanding Real Estate Tax Collection This workshop will educate township supervisors, administrators, tax collectors, tax collector candidates and others about the collection of local real estate taxes.
Pavement Preservation This session will review and evaluate pavement preservation techniques.
MS4 Pollutant Control Measures This session is for MS4 communities that are preparing to address the pollutant control measure phase of their permit. The presenters will identify steps you should take now and in the future.
Free Speech Can Be Costly We live in a “call-out” culture, and when employees post controversial, politically charged, or even racist or sexist statements or images, employers feel the pressure. This session explores how townships can balance an employee’s right to free speech with its need to prevent disruption and unrest in the workplace. The presenters will examine recent court cases and share real-world actions that townships can take when investigating and assessing public complaints about employee speech.
Fire and EMS Issues in Your Township: A Panel Discussion It's no secret that many townships are struggling to provide adequate fire and EMS services. Attend this session to hear from and question a panel of fire and EMS leaders about trends, best practices, and other public safety issues.
Managers Roundtable Township managers are encouraged to attend this informal, moderated workshop to exchange ideas about issues important to their communities and profession.
It's Not Just a Chip Seal! This session will explore all of the chip seal essentials to ensure your projects are a success. Attendees will learn about proper site selection and prep, lab testing, aggregate and emulsion selection, quality assurance, public education, fog seal treatment, and bid writing. The presenters will also share new online tools that can help before, during, and after a chip seal project.
PennDOT Updates for Work Zone Safety Attend this workshop for the latest information on work zone safety. PennDOT staff will be reviewing updates to policies, training, and guidelines, including Publication 213 (Temporary Traffic Control Guidelines) and Publication 234 (Flagger Handbook). A question-and-answer session is also planned.
Communication is Key: Let's Start From the Very Beginning Learn how to communicate effectively with all stakeholders in the public safety domain. Identify who these stakeholders are and when to begin thinking about how to assign addresses to new construction, keeping in mid the current develoopments (it's sooner than you think it should be!). Identify Best Management Practices for ensuring the easiest possible addressing scheme, especially when it comes to mixed-use buildings.
The ABCs of Liquid Fuels Tax Funds Attend this session to learn the basics about liquid fuels funding, including how it's allocated, what can be purchased, and where townships can turn for support and assistance. PennDOT staffers will also review recent audit findings and explain how your township can avoid similar LFF mistakes.
Rx for Disaster - The Effects of COVID-19 on the EMS System This workshop will focus on the impact of the pandemic on the commonwealth's EMS system, including the toll it's taken on agencies' finances and their workforces. It will also explore the safety and sanitization steps that EMS agencies are taking to protect the public from COVID-19.
Digital Newsletters: Connecting You with Your Residents Many people have become accustomed to receiving their news via digital sources. Why not meet your township residents where they go to get their information? A monthly emailed newsletter is a great opportunity for your township to connect with residents more often and inform them about their local government. During this session, the presenters will offer tips and shortcuts on everything from email software to content creation to help you establish your own digital newsletter.
Social Media Tips and Guidelines for Municipal Government For some townships, the thought of creating a social media strategy can be scary -- but it doesn’t have to be. During this session, Linda Rooney of Dandelions Digital will explore how townships can best use social media, whether it's to manage a crisis situation or for everyday outreach. She'll also outline the “must-haves” for township social media policies.
Website Organization for Effective Communications Attend this session to learn how to organize your township's website to better communicate with residents. The presenter will explain how to use Google Analytics to gauge audience behavior and adjust your website to match it; how to store information on your website so that residents can find it; and how to use your website for news and alerts.
New Uses and Zoning Regulations: What We Learned From 2020 2020 forced many changes in our lives, but with change comes creativity and new ideas. This workshop will encourage participants to consider new uses that have evolved and their impact on townships. The presenters will discuss such trends as zombie kitchens, man caves and she-sheds, emotional support animals, DAS/small cells, short-term rentals, temporary uses, and distribution centers. They will also offer advice on zoning ordinance updates to address these new uses.
Politicians and Residents Say the Darnedest Things, Part 2 Elected officials and residents say the darnedest things at public meetings, to the media, and on social media. Using a series of vignettes and some video footage, the presenters will showcase these communications challenges and discuss how to handle them. Audience feedback is invited.
That Day You DIDN'T Make National Headlines! Today, the actions of police are often viewed through the "social justice" lens. Protesters pressure elected leaders to make changes AFTER an incident becomes national news. But what can you do up front to minimize the chances that your township will be front-page news? The presenters will explain how understanding current law, implementing good personnel practices and policies, and providing direction and leadership can help mitigate these problems.
Conewago Twp.: Stormwater Mapping Done Easy and With Purpose Learn about the experiences of Conewago Township, which was looking for a mapping solution for its MS4 permit that also allowed it to collect, manage, and maintain these assets moving forward. With the help of Gannett Fleming, the township set up a collection system that was easy to use, cost effective, and not only enabled employees to record updates and inspection criteria but also intelligently map the township's stormwater network.
2021 Employment and Labor Law Potpourri This session will update township officials on recent changes in employment and labor laws, regulations, and court decisions. Topics will include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Affordable Care Act, collective bargaining, employment discrimination and harassment, and more.
Employment Disasters in Social Media From the White House to the local police station, examples abound of officials and employees who have used social media in good and bad ways. This session will address recent social media disasters and how townships can avoid them.
Labor Contract Negotiation and Arbitration in the New Normal This session explores workforce options for townships that are facing decreased revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel of experts will address personnel issues and strategies, including rolling furloughs, reduced work weeks, and contract give-backs. They will also explain how townships can realize long-term savings by proactively evaluating their collective bargaining agreements.
The Evolution of Bid Management In celebration of PSATS centennial conference, this session will explore the evolution of competitive bidding. In addition to reviewing the Township Code requirements, the presenter will explain how and why public bidding has evolved and challenge attendees to imagine what changes may be in store for the future.
Squeezing the Most Out of Every Dollar This session will review current market conditions and provide tips on optimizing investments while effectively managing your township's cash flow. The presenters will also review cash management services, which are often available for no “out-of-pocket” costs, and electronic transaction services that can save time and money. Learn the benefits of implementing a procurement card program and of efficiently managing your township's pension program.
Unemployment Compensation 101 Plan to attend this class, which will include a review of the unemployment system, the claims process, and appeals. A mock hearing is planned, too. You'll also learn about the new web-based UC benefit process that was introduced in October 2020.
Municipal Bidding Join LTAP representatives for a discussion on bidding requirements for municipalities. They'll cover bidding limits, bonding, escalator clauses, prevailing wage, emergency procurement, maintenance exemptions, and more. The presenters will also address some commonly asked questions and set aside time for a Q&A session.
Right-to-Know Law Update -The Second Decade This session will explore significant Right-to-Know Law decisions in the last year from both the courts and the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. The presenters will also review legislative changes that affect your open records procedures and public record determinations.
Effective Supervision & Why It Matters Often, employees are given supervisory roles because they have strong technical expertise. However, to be effective, they must also be willing to act as a coach. Many employees have resigned because their supervisors didn't have effective management and people skills. This session explores these issues while making the case that effective supervision has the greatest opportunity to impact employee engagement.
Grid Scale Solar Developments in Your Community Grid scale solar developments cover 100-plus acres and sell electricity into the transmission grid for use off-site. Technology advances and policy decisions are bringing these projects to more areas of the commonwealth. This workshop focuses on the opportunities and challenges this presents for townships and provides resources to help guide this development.
Recycling in PA: COVID-19 and Other Issues Staff from the state Department of Environmental Protection will discuss the current state of recycling in Pennsylvania, including the impact of COVID-19 and secondary markets on municipal programs. Participants will learn about state recycling resources for local governments and trending issues, such as electronics and food-waste recovery.
You Just Received a Planning Module. Now What? Sewage facilities planning modules seem complicated, and you probably have questions. What is the township required to do and when? What should the applicant do? Attend this session, where the presenters will provide simple, straightforward guidance to help your township process these modules with confidence.
New PENNVEST Financing Opportunities PENNVEST continues to evolve and improve its funding to support water quality projects and practices. Attend this session to learn about its traditional programs and innovative new methods for funding projects.
Why Saving With COSTARS is Sweeter Than a Chocolate Bar! Attend this session to learn about COSTARS, including tips for navigating the website, searching contracts, and negotiating with suppliers to save taxpayer money on goods and services. The presenters will share money-saving success stories from COSTARS members, and participants will have the opportunity to share their own.
Workers' Compensation and Volunteer Fire Companies Join this session to learn about workers' compensation for volunteer firefighters. The presenters will review when and what benefits apply, special fire police, junior volunteer firefighters, and cost sharing. They will also discuss market changes due to the presumption of cancer law, new and proposed legislation, and COVID-19 issues.
Cost-Effective GIS for Local Government Learn all about GIS at this session, which will explore affordable software options, including QGIS, and tasks that can be completed with limited knowledge and for minimal cost. Attendees will leave with the confidence to explore GIS on their own. A Q&A session is also planned.
Managing Municipal Finances After the Effects of COVID-19 This session focuses on state and local resources available to townships and their constituents as a result of the pandemic. The presenters will assess the current financial situation and offer strategies to help townships internally address some of the issues presented by the pandemic.
Strategic Planning for Fire Service Operations in Townships Townships and fire service organizations serve diverse communities across Pennsylvania and have struggled with decreasing volunteers and increased costs. This session will use lecture, small group discussions, and facilitated brainstorming to identify solutions to sustain or improve fire service in your community.
PennDOT RoadMaP program This session will provide an overview of PennDOT's RoadMaP Program. Topics will include core maintenance activities, low volume road resurfacing, alternative low-cost treatments, and agility.
Department of Agriculture Partnerships with Local Government The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture partners with townships in many ways, from farmland preservation and agricultural security areas to food security, soil and water conservation, marketing, and dog laws. Attend this session to learn about the department's mission, which has been heightened during the pandemic, and the pivotal role townships play in helping it connect producers and consumers.
Dealing with Constantly Changing Public Safety Challenges 2020 was a year of changing challenges for many communities, including Upper Merion Township. First came COVID, and then demonstrations. Riots, curfews, and a derecho also happened -- all in eight months. Each created a crisis that required local leaders to deploy resources and coordinate public safety efforts with outside agencies and citizen groups. This session will focus on how one township managed this eventful period of time.
Fire Department Stipend Programs Pros and Cons Attend this workshop to better understand stipend programs for fire departments. The presenter will discuss their implementation, successes and failures, and their relationship to regionalization. One community's experiences will be the centerpiece of this session.
Fire and EMS: What Can We Do to Ensure Their Sustainability? This session will explore the crucial relationship between townships, fire companies, and emergency medical services and how they can work together to ensure a sustainable future. Funding and recruitment and retainment strategies will be discussed.
MS4 Municipal Partnerships Attend this session to learn about PennDOT's MS4 municipal partnerships that are helping local governments and authorities save money.
Technical Assistance Programs: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Learn about the technical assistance programs that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed to help townships with flooding and water resource management. These include the Planning Assistance to States and Floodplain Management Services programs, which offer federal and non-federal cost-sharing, partnering opportunities, and technical assistance.
20 Great Policies, Procedures, and Forms When it comes to developing new and better ways do get the job done right, township officials are second to none. In this fun and face-paced workshop, you'll learn a variety of interesting policies and procedures -- from common sense to creative -- that are designed to enhance your community's day-to-day operations. You'll also receive some great and attractive forms that your staff and residents will love.
20 Ways to Improve Your Public Meetings It's time for your monthly meeting, and you couldn't be more excited! Well, maybe not...which is understandable because public meetings can sometimes get difficult. If you grow a little anxious as meeting day approaches, this session is for you. Learn how to build a better meeting structure, prepare better meeting materials, improve communications with residents, and more!
MS4 Permit Holders: The Roles and Responsibilities for BMPs Using plain English, the presenters will explain the responsibilities that MS4 permit holders have related to the operations and maintenance of private best management practices (BMPs).
Understanding Roadway Postings for Preservation and Safety Safety and weight-related postings are two tools available to help townships preserve roads impacted by heavy hauling. Attend this session to learn when posting makes sense and the options available to municipalities.
Successful Collective Bargaining with Municipal Employees It is essential for municipal managers and elected officials to understand the Act 111 and Act 195 collective bargaining and interest arbitration process. The presenters will review critical skills, including how to negotiate and communicate your goals appropriately. Participants will walk away with practical advice on getting the most out of these processes.
Successful Navigation of Employee Medical Leaves of Absence Many public employers have difficulty navigating the legal minefield surrounding employees who have medical issues that require time away from work. This workshop will explain the rules of the road in an easy to understand manner and provide practical, real-world advice on how to get these issues right every time. Participants will leave knowing how to confidently handle these situations in the future.
Innovation for Emergency Geohazard Mitigation Has your township experienced a geohazard -- a landslide, rockfall, sinkhole, or mine subsidence -- that impacted critical infrastructure and roads? The trouble is, as geohazard impacts increase, funding is often being reduced, a situation that requires innovative solutions. This workshop will focus on innovative stabilization tools, the role of preventative maintenance, and the
importance of a safe and timely response to these events.
Claims of Racism at Your Doorstep: What Is a Township to Do? What happens when a claim of racism is made against your township's police department, and reporters start camping out at your meetings? The answer: Be prepared. Attend this session to learn how to take a proactive response to allegations of racism, including what to do before and after a claim is made and how to prepare for the future.
Coordinating Utility Relocations on PennDOT Projects PennDOT recently launched the Utility Relocation Management System (URMS), which is new software that's designed to better coordinate utility relocations on state projects between utility owners, consultants, and the agency's staff. During this session, PennDOT representatives will explain how to register for URMS and share best practices and benefits.
Forest Management and Timber Harvesting in Pennsylvania Several townships have gotten into legal trouble after passing timber harvesting ordinances that unreasonably restrict forestry. This workshop will help you avoid similar problems by introducing you to the newly updated guide, "Forest Management and Timber Harvest in Pennsylvania: Information for Citizens and Local Government Officials." The publication, which includes a model timber ordinance, will help you understand timber management and avoid costly legal challenges.