2024 Small Cities Conference and Pre-Conference Training

GMA’s Small Cities Conference is designed to provide city officials & staff the opportunity to meet, network, and discuss issues or solutions that are most relevant to small cities. Expanding upon last year’s theme, "Connecting for Success", the conference will be filled with informative sessions and ample opportunities to connect with agencies that provide essential resources to help streamline city operations.  PLEASE NOTE:  The Small Cities Conference attendance is restricted to city officials & staff only.

Back by popular demand will be Pre-Conference Training from the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute. Participants will have the opportunity to earn three (3) credit hours towards a training certificate from a class designed to help city officials enhance their knowledge and skills in municipal related matters.  These classes are $190.00 each and are not included as part of the registration to the Small Cities Conference. You must register and pay for classes if you want to attend. 

Classes offered during the pre-conference training are:

Wednesday, May 1st , 2024

1:00 - 4:00 pm

* Effective Practices for Municipal Operations
* Open Records

 
During the official two-day Small Cities Conference, elected officials and staff will connect with exhibitors and key organizations through educational sessions that will focus on various topics in municipal operations. 

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for the entire 2 day conference is $150 which includes all classes, meals, snacks and beverages. When you register for the Small Cities Conference please make sure to select the concurrent sessions you would like to attend during each of the 6 time slots.  There are four concurrent slots on Thursday and two concurrent slots on Friday.  Each slot has 3 sessions to select from.   Please make sure you select a different session each time. The classes on May 2 and 3 don't provide credit hours for Harold Holtz Municipal Training Institute.


Welcome Reception and Tour of Downtown

Join us on May 1, 2024, at 5:30 for a warm Welcome Reception at the GMA Small Cities Conference, graciously hosted by the City of Carrollton, Georgia. After a captivating tour of Carrollton's charming downtown that starts at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m., all attendees are invited to unwind, connect, and celebrate the spirit of community collaboration in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

The tour with start at the Carrollton Center for the Arts, at 4:30pm, which is adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott. The tour will circle Adamson Square and proceed down Bradley Street, passing the streetscape, niche shops and eateries of downtown and with stops at the Amp at Adamson Square amphitheater, Local Ties Brewery, the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum among other places, ending up at the Depot on Bradley for the reception. A selection of local wines/beers will be available at the reception, representing what has become quite a solid part of Carrollton's local hospitality industry.


Wednesday, May 1st, 2024


12:00 - 1:00 pm          Registration Open

1:00 pm - 4:00pm       Pre Conference Training Classes

* Effective Practices for Municipal Operations
* Open Records


4:30 pm -- 5:30 pm    Tour of downtown Carrollton

5:30 pm                        Welcome Reception hosted by the City of Carrollton


Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
 
8:00 am – 9:00 am Check-In & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:00 am Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Program Overview 

10:00 am- 10:15 am Break w/Sponsors & Exhibitors

10:15 am – 11:15 am Concurrent Sessions
                
11:20 am – 12:20 pm Concurrent Sessions
                                                                    
12:30 pm – 1:50 pm Lunch with Keynote

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
                  
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Concurrent Sessions
                  
Dinner on your own

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m – 10:00 am Concurrent Sessions
              
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 am Break

10:15 a.m – 11:15 am         Concurrent Sessions
               
11: 25 am – 12:30 pm Closing Session

Book your hotel today--The cutoff is April 10th for the GMA group rate at Courtyard by Marriott and Comfort Inn & Suites.  The cutoff for the Hampton Inn is April 16th.   

Courtyard by Marriott in Carrollton, GA -- Rate is 152.00++
Courtyard by Marriott Booking Link -- Click on this link to book your room at Courtyard by Marriott

Comfort Inn & Suites Carrollton, GA -- Rate is 129.00++
Call the hotel at 770-838-0508 to reserve your room at Comfort Inn

Hampton Inn by Hilton Carrollton, GA -- Rate is 115.00++
Hampton Inn Carrollton Booking Link  -- Click on this link to book your room at Hampton Inn


Door Prizes:

Elevate your conference experience with exciting door prizes awaiting lucky winners at the end of each class and general session during the GMA Small Cities Conference. From exclusive local delights to valuable resources, these prizes add an element of anticipation and delight, making every session a chance to leave with a memorable takeaway.


Trivia Game:

Explore the rich tapestry of Georgia Municipal Association's history in this engaging trivia game, challenging players with fascinating facts and milestones that have shaped the organization's impactful journey in fostering community development and advocacy within the state.


More Information:

For more information concerning the conference contact Terrell D. Jacobs at 678-392-2769 or Pete Pyrzenski at 678-686-6224. 

For more information on the Pre-Conference Training contact Aileen Harris 678-686-6293.

When
5/1/2024 1:00 PM - 5/3/2024 11:00 AM
Eastern Daylight Time
Where
University of West Georgia Campus Center Carrollton, GA 30118 UNITED STATES
Sign in or create an account to register Last day to register is 5/3/2024
Event Contact
Mr. Terrell Jacobs - Phone: (404) 295-6247

Program

Wednesday, 01 May 2024

Description
This class targets municipal elected officials from small communities and newly elected officials and exposes them to various fundamental principles for having a professionally managed city. The class examines basic management strategies and analyzes tools and processes needed to create an organizational climate of excellence for the effective delivery of municipal services. In addition, the class identifies emerging issues and other challenges that can impede effective municipal operations.
Time
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Spots available
15
1:00 PM
This class familiarizes municipal officials with Georgia’s open records law and the potential consequences for failing to adhere to it. The class also includes practical application of open records issues through the use of hypothetical scenarios. Additionally, the class will cover records and access issues related to social media platforms and government property, including government buildings. Records management and the requirements of the Georgia Open Records Act are reviewed as well as legal obligations for preserving records for litigation.
Time
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Spots available
37
1:00 PM

Thursday, 02 May 2024

Description
"Navigating Legal Frontiers: Dealing with Liability Issues in Local Government in Georgia" provides an in-depth examination of legal challenges and risk management strategies for municipalities. Participants will explore liability issues, such as tort claims, employment disputes, and constitutional considerations, gaining insights into proactive measures, effective policies, and legal compliance to safeguard the interests of local governments. Through case analyses and discussions, attendees will emerge equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to address and mitigate liability concerns while promoting sound governance practices in the context of Georgia's legal landscape.
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
7
10:15 AM
"Mastering Confidentiality: Executive Sessions in Local Government in Georgia - The Do’s and Don'ts" delves into the intricacies of executive sessions, offering practical guidance on navigating legal and ethical considerations. Participants will gain insights into the permissible reasons for entering executive sessions, maintaining confidentiality, and adhering to open records laws. Through case studies and interactive discussions, attendees will develop a comprehensive understanding of the do’s and don'ts associated with executive sessions, ensuring effective governance while upholding transparency and compliance in Georgia's local government settings.
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
35
10:15 AM
"Exploring the Different Forms of Government" offers a comprehensive examination of municipal structures, with a specific focus on the three primary forms most prevalent in Georgia: Strong Mayor, Mayor-Council, and Council-Manager. Throughout the class, participants will review the distinctive features of each governance model, analyzing their effects on decision-making processes, the provision of public services, and the unique roles assigned to various stakeholders. Through interactive discussions, a better understanding of the dynamics and nuances associated with each will allow for valuable insight into the workings of your municipal government.
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
23
10:15 AM
"Navigating Legal Frontiers: Dealing with Liability Issues in Local Government in Georgia" provides an in-depth examination of legal challenges and risk management strategies for municipalities. Participants will explore liability issues, such as tort claims, employment disputes, and constitutional considerations, gaining insights into proactive measures, effective policies, and legal compliance to safeguard the interests of local governments. Through case analyses and discussions, attendees will emerge equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to address and mitigate liability concerns while promoting sound governance practices in the context of Georgia's legal landscape.
Time
11:20 AM - 12:20 PM
Spots available
28
11:20 AM
"Mastering Confidentiality: Executive Sessions in Local Government in Georgia - The Do’s and Don'ts" delves into the intricacies of executive sessions, offering practical guidance on navigating legal and ethical considerations. Participants will gain insights into the permissible reasons for entering executive sessions, maintaining confidentiality, and adhering to open records laws. Through case studies and interactive discussions, attendees will develop a comprehensive understanding of the do’s and don'ts associated with executive sessions, ensuring effective governance while upholding transparency and compliance in Georgia's local government settings.
Time
11:20 AM - 12:20 PM
Spots available
25
11:20 AM
The class "Exploring the Different Forms of Government" offers a comprehensive examination of municipal structures, with a specific focus on the three primary forms most prevalent in Georgia: Strong Mayor, Mayor-Council, and Council-Manager. Throughout the class, participants will review the distinctive features of each governance model, analyzing their effects on decision-making processes, the provision of public services, and the unique roles assigned to various stakeholders. Through interactive discussions, a better understanding of the dynamics and nuances associated with each will allow for valuable insight into the workings of your municipal government.
Time
11:20 AM - 12:20 PM
Spots available
26
11:20 AM
"Financial Integrity: Do’s and Don'ts of Completing Audits for Local Governments in Georgia," participants will explore the critical aspects of financial auditing processes tailored to the regulatory framework of the state. Covering best practices, legal compliance, and risk mitigation, the course equips attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate financial audits effectively. Through practical insights and case studies, participants will gain a thorough understanding of the dos and don'ts associated with financial audits, ensuring accuracy, transparency, and accountability in the financial management of local governments in Georgia.
Time
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Spots available
19
2:00 PM
"Empowering Small Cities: GMA’s Department of Community and Economic Development" provides a comprehensive exploration of the resources and support mechanisms offered by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). Participants will learn how the department can assist small cities in fostering community growth and economic development through targeted programs, technical assistance, and collaborative initiatives. Through case studies and practical insights, attendees will gain a nuanced understanding of how GMA's Department of Community and Economic Development can serve as a valuable partner in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by smaller municipalities.
Time
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Spots available
21
2:00 PM
"Navigating Local Finances: Revenue Sources for Georgia Governments" delves into the diverse revenue sources available to Georgia’s cities. Participants will learn about property taxes, sales taxes, grants, and other revenue streams, gaining insights into the intricacies of budgeting, fiscal planning, and maximizing financial resources. Through real-world examples and case studies, attendees will develop a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic landscape of revenue sources available for local governments in Georgia.
Time
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Spots available
33
2:00 PM
"Financial Integrity: Do’s and Don'ts of Completing Audits for Local Governments in Georgia," participants will explore the critical aspects of financial auditing processes tailored to the regulatory framework of the state. Covering best practices, legal compliance, and risk mitigation, the course equips attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate financial audits effectively. Through practical insights and case studies, participants will gain a thorough understanding of the dos and don'ts associated with financial audits, ensuring accuracy, transparency, and accountability in the financial management of local governments in Georgia.
Time
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Spots available
22
3:15 PM
"Empowering Small Cities: GMA’s Department of Community and Economic Development" provides a comprehensive exploration of the resources and support mechanisms offered by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). Participants will learn how the department can assist small cities in fostering community growth and economic development through targeted programs, technical assistance, and collaborative initiatives. Through case studies and practical insights, attendees will gain a nuanced understanding of how GMA's Department of Community and Economic Development can serve as a valuable partner in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by smaller municipalities.
Time
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Spots available
26
3:15 PM
"Navigating Local Finances: Revenue Sources for Georgia Governments" delves into the diverse revenue sources available to Georgia’s cities. Participants will learn about property taxes, sales taxes, grants, and other revenue streams, gaining insights into the intricacies of budgeting, fiscal planning, and maximizing financial resources. Through real-world examples and case studies, attendees will develop a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic landscape of revenue sources available for local governments in Georgia.
Time
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Spots available
35
3:15 PM

Friday, 03 May 2024

Description
"Strategic Benefits Planning for Small Cities in Georgia" focuses on designing employee benefits packages that are both effective and budget-friendly. Participants will explore tailored solutions for small municipal budgets, covering topics such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that enhance employee satisfaction and retention while aligning with the financial constraints of smaller municipalities. Through case studies and practical discussions, attendees will gain the expertise needed to create sustainable and attractive employee benefits packages for small cities in Georgia.
Time
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Spots available
12
9:00 AM
This course analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of implementing Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies within local government. As AI continues to revolutionize various sectors, its potential applications in local governance are substantial, promising improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and better service delivery. However, the integration of AI also presents significant challenges and ethical considerations that need careful examination. Through a combination of basic frameworks, case studies, and practical examples, participants will gain a general understanding of the complexities surrounding AI adoption in local governments.
Time
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Spots available
44
9:00 AM
"Smart Governance Spending: Purchasing and Contracting Tips in Local Government in Georgia," participants will learn about procurement processes and contracting strategies tailored to the unique regulatory environment of the state. Covering legal frameworks, best practices, and risk mitigation, this course equips attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate procurement efficiently while ensuring transparency and compliance. Through case studies and practical scenarios, participants will gain valuable insights into optimizing purchasing decisions and fostering responsible financial stewardship within local government entities in Georgia.
Time
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Spots available
12
9:00 AM
"Strategic Benefits Planning for Small Cities in Georgia" focuses on designing employee benefits packages that are both effective and budget-friendly. Participants will explore tailored solutions for small municipal budgets, covering topics such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that enhance employee satisfaction and retention while aligning with the financial constraints of smaller municipalities. Through case studies and practical discussions, attendees will gain the expertise needed to create sustainable and attractive employee benefits packages for small cities in Georgia.
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
22
10:15 AM
Georgia’s Open Records Act and Open Meetings Act, known as our Sunshine Laws, are foundational to how citizens stay informed about and interact with their government. This free training session will provide open government “do’s” and “don’ts” for elected officials, government staff and law enforcement officers.  Training will cover these questions and more: What records are available to the public? Which meetings are open to the public? What are penalties for not complying with state Sunshine Laws?
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
35
10:15 AM
This interactive workshop, "When the Media Calls," equips participants with the skills and confidence to navigate media interactions with poise and professionalism.  Throughout the class, participants will explore practical strategies for handling press inquiries, whether from journalists, reporters, or media outlets. The class outline is designed to demystify the media engagement process and effectively empower participants to represent themselves and their organizations in the public eye.
Time
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Spots available
18
10:15 AM

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