eNews April 28, 2023Friday, April 28, 2023 - 03:45pm
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In this issue:
- VML policy nomination process is still underway!
- Broadband Together event for local government officials happening May 17-18
- Register now! Skills Development Conference for Virginia’s Local Elected Officials – June 13-14
- Call for entries: 2023 VML Innovation Awards
- Polco is offering an exclusive small-city package for 100 Small Communities
- Utility Management Services offering 25% discount to VML member localities
- “Safe Streets and Roads for All” FY23 NOFO open through July 10
- Regional Elected Leaders Initiative – Save the dates in 2023!
- Community water project grant webinar happening May 27
VML policy nomination process is still underway!
VML member local governments have until May 15 to submit nominations for the 2023 policy committees.
VML’s five policy committees meet in late July (via Zoom again this year) to learn about emerging issues, develop or revise policy positions for their committee’s statement, and recommend possible legislative positions for consideration by VML’s legislative committee.
The policy committees are:
- Community & Economic Development
- General Laws
- Human Development & Education
- Infrastructure (encompassing environment/natural resources and transportation)
Each VML member local government can nominate two people to serve on each policy committee. Eligible members include members of the governing body and key staff (department directors, management, etc.).
Information about the nominations process was sent to managers and clerks in mid-March. If your locality needs a copy of that information, please contact Janet Areson at the below email.
We look forward to hearing from your locality!
VML Contact: Janet Areson, email@example.com
Broadband Together event for local government officials happening May 17-18
VML local government member staff and officials are encouraged to register for the upcoming Broadband Together Conference happening in Richmond May 17-18.
This year’s event will feature sessions on:
- BEAD grants
- 2023 legislative recap
- Smart technology and farming
- Digital equity
- Digital literacy
- …and more!
Registration and full agenda are available here >.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Register Now! Skills Development Conference for Virginia’s Local Elected Officials – June 13-14
Join VML staff and experts from a variety of fields to learn about topics important to elected officials and staff from local governments of all sizes in Virginia. This event will be offered both in-person and virtually.
Topics to be covered include:
- Parliamentary Procedure
- Land Use (including housing and zoning)
- Human Resources Issues (including marijuana legalization)
- Planning District Commissions (including grants and partnership opportunities)
- …and more!
Social networking: Tuesday, June 13 (in-person only)*
- Time: Evening
- Location: Capital Ale House (4024 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060)
Venue website here >
- Details: Food and beverages provided.
*Note: You may attend the Tuesday evening social event in person even if you are registered to attended the Wednesday conference virtually.
Conference: Wednesday, June 14 (in-person and virtual)
- Time: Check-in 8:30 a.m. / Event runs 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Location: The Place at Innsbrook (4036-C Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060).
Venue website here >.
- Details: Breakfast and lunch provided for in-person attendees. Virtual registrants will receive the link to join ahead of the event.
- In person: Wednesday, June 7 (end of day)
- Virtual: Monday, June 12 (end of day)
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
Call for entries: 2023 VML Innovation Awards
The people who make local governments work do so much for their residents with little or no expectation of recognition. That’s why 47 years ago, the Virginia Municipal League launched our “Achievement Awards” to recognize outstanding work being done by local governments across Virginia. The program went on to become Virginia’s highest honor in local government creativity. In 2017 the name was changed to “Innovation Awards”, but the purpose remains the same: To celebrate all that you do to make your city, town, or county a great place to live!
It’s time again for our members to spotlight programs and individuals that have made a big difference to your residents by creating innovative solutions to address emerging needs.
Learn more about the awards and how to submit your entries here >.
The awards will be presented at VML’s Annual Conference in Norfolk in October.
VML Contact: Manuel Timbreza, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supreme Court case of interest to local governments
The Supreme Court handed down the following case dealing with the Freedom of Information Act on Thursday of this week: Suffolk City School Board, Et. Al. vs. Deborah Wahlstrom, Record 220116.
Official case summary
In a plaintiff’s action alleging that a city School Board and two school officials violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (“VFOIA”), Code §2.2-3700 et. seq., by denying her free entry to a public meeting of the Board, the trial court did not err in awarding relief to the plaintiff because the Board violated the statute, or in denying her claims against the individual defendants. This case is remanded for determination of the fees and costs she is entitled to recover.
Please consult your local government’s attorney if you have interpretation questions.
VML Contact: Michelle Gowdy, email@example.com
Housing Commission subcommittees to meet in May
The Housing Commission has scheduled a marathon meeting for their work groups from May 16-17. The Real Property, Community Development and Best Land-Use Practice workgroup will meet first on May 16 at 10:00 a.m. in House Room 1 of the Capitol. Next up will be the Short Term Rental Workgroup which will meet in the same location at 1:00 p.m. On the 17th the meetings will again be at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in House Room 1 of the Capitol; the morning will be Local Land Use and Community Living followed by Landlord and Tenant Law, Real Estate Law, and Affordable Housing Solutions.
The list of chairs and the bills assigned to each work group can be found here. While the agendas are not yet posted; this is where they can be found.
VML Contact: Michelle Gowdy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Polco is offering an exclusive small-city package for 100 Small Communities
VML is pleased to announce that our partner organization Polco will be rolling out a new pilot program specifically tailored to smaller communities. The national Small Cities Pilot Program is being offered to the first 100 cities and towns with populations under 15,000 to join.
The Pilot Program includes:
- Surveys and polls
- A library of 100+ survey templates
- Aggregated data about your locality
- Deep-dive dashboard view on safety, economy, and more!
Large cities are using data analytics to their advantage in aligning strategic plans, rallying support for capital projects, and securing grant funds. Polco believes all governments should have the same opportunity regardless of population size!
You are invited to join this exclusive pilot program for small local governments. With the Government Performance Action and Learning (GPAL) partnership POLCO has analyzed and consolidated your local data into ready-to-use insights.
This program enables smaller communities to:
- Clearly evaluate community needs.
- Compare trends and best practices with peers.
- Make data-driven decisions with confidence.
- Access more grant funding.
“Big data for small communities” webinar happening May 17 at 2:00 p.m.
On May 17 Polco will discuss the pilot program for small communities and introduce Government Performance Action and Learning (GPAL). GPAL collaborators have built a system to distill siloed and hard to analyze government data into simple insights, so government leaders can focus on the most important and relevant factors. Government leaders across the nation will have access to verified community insights from hundreds of civic data sets, professional and academic practitioners, and over 30 years of survey research by the National Research Center at Polco. GPAL partners will help communities best utilize the performance measurement system without the hassle of manual tracking and guesswork.
Register for the webinar here >
Polco Contact: Chanté Martin| Director of Strategic Partnerships, email@example.com
Utility Management Services offering 25% discount to VML member localities
UMS is one of most successful firms of its type in the country. UMS works to analyze your utility bills and energy contracts, ensuring you are on the best possible pricing. Their goal is to help your organization manage your utility costs, with little or no changes to your operations. Public and private sector clients nationwide trust UMS to identify no risk savings opportunities.
Cities and governments have a lot of different facilities all with unique operating characteristics. From office buildings to streetlights, UMS can analyze all utility accounts to find savings for the most efficient use of taxpayer revenue.
In fact, UMS saved one Virginia school district over $40,000 per year!
To celebrate becoming a part of VML’s cohort of Community Business Members, UMS is offering a 25% discount to VML’s local government members.
Contact: To learn more, contact Karly Plemmons, firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 867-3230
“Safe Streets and Roads for All” FY23 NOFO open through July 10
The fiscal year (FY) 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for “Safe Streets and Roads for All” grants is live on Grants.gov and open for applications.
The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. (EDT) Monday, July 10, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted. For details, more information, and applicant guidance:
- Review the NOFO
- Visit our How to Apply page
- Visit our Resources page
- Review SS4A Frequently Asked Questions
- Attend a grant application webinar
- Learn about what’s new in 2023
Award announcements are expected to be made by late 2023.
Contact: E. Bryan Rush, email@example.com
Regional Elected Leaders Initiative – Save the dates in 2023!
The Schar School’s Regional Elected Leaders Initiative (RELI) is offering a suite of programs in 2023. For the 6th year, programming specifically focused on meeting the region’s challenges and curated for NOVA’s elected officials, their staff, and others.
All events are free and from noon-1:15 p.m unless otherwise noted.
- May 5 – Executive Evaluation (Register here)
- May 19 – Collective Bargaining – May 19 (Register here)
- June 9, 16, 23, 30 – City/Town Council & County Board
- July 7, 14, 21, 28 – School Board Members
- September 15 – Planning Together for Climate Change
- September 29 – Reducing Roadway Deaths & Injuries
- October 13 – Affordable Home Ownership
- October 27 – Crime Trends & Tools
- December 8 – Leadership Luncheon & Awards (11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
RELI Contact: For more information, contact Mary Hynes or Jay Fisette at SchaRELI@gmu.edu or visit the RELI website.
Community water project grant webinar happening May 27
On May 27, staff and officials from local governments can hear from Federal and Local officials about federal community water project grant opportunities. The webinar will include officials from several federal agencies as well as the National League of Cities and local officials. The webinar will cover how these funds can be used to improve water infrastructure in local communities.
More information and registration can be found here: Tapping into Federal Funding Opportunities for Community Water Projects.
VML Contact: Mitchell Smiley, firstname.lastname@example.org