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Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

July 13 – 17, 2022  |  Charleston, SC

The Municipal Association of South Carolina Annual Meeting gives municipal leaders an opportunity to come together and learn in a focused environment about issues, solutions and opportunities facing South Carolina cities and towns.

Agenda at a Glance

Wednesday, July 13

  • 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Registration

Thursday, July 14

  • 8:30 a.m. –  6:30 p.m.  Registration
  • 9 a.m. – noon  Preconference Workshops:
      - From Conflict to Conversation - $75
    What could you accomplish for your community if you possessed the skills to make people feel heard, respected and empowered, even when tackling complex and divisive issues? In this workshop, you’ll learn an innovative method for public engagement, and practical skills that you can apply to spark creativity, collaboration and commitment among all your constituencies. Come prepared to “wear your heart on your sleeve” about whatever you hope to accomplish in your community. This session is especially valuable for elected, appointed and hired community leaders.

      - Civic Storytelling: How to Create Real World Connection in a Digital Age - $60
    Storytelling is an essential tool for downtown programming. It builds loyalty in our central business districts, creates and cultivates human-to-human relationships, and fosters greater connections to our downtown communities. Learn how purposeful human stories about our business owners, our leaders, and our volunteers inspire stronger and more positive community interactions.

      - Mobile Workshop: Sustainable Design Practices: How Cities Large and Small Can Lead the Way in Building a Resilient Future - $90 
    *This session is a mobile workshop and will require getting on and off of large motor coaches, some walking and exposure to heat or other weather conditions.

    Changing weather patterns are resulting in rising sea levels, more frequent severe weather events and flooding, requiring municipalities to develop mitigation strategies. Learn how the City of Charleston and the Town of James Island use sustainable design practices to address these challenges while protecting their sensitive environments. 

    Participants will hear about Charleston's requirement that new projects with a design life exceeding 50 years must account for an anticipated sea-level rise of 2.5 feet. You will see the first completed phase of the Low Battery Seawall Repair, which complies with sustainability and accessibility requirements while also meeting the city's rigorous historical design standards. You will also visit the newly constructed James Island Town Hall, which used vernacular design and sustainable practices to respect the area’s majestic trees and nearby marsh, setting a standard for other commercial and residential construction. Learn how sustainable design practices require coordination with other departments and changes to land use and construction regulations.
  • Noon – 1:30 p.m.  First Timers Luncheon (open to first-time Annual Meeting attendees only)
    Meet other first-time Annual Meeting attendees while learning more about the Association and how to get the most out of the Annual Meeting. This event is limited to first-time attendees and requires preregistration.
  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Before the 2022 Midterms: A Bipartisan Panel Discussion with Democrat and Republican Strategists
    Inman Mayor Cornelius Huff is back by popular demand to moderate a discussion about what happened during the June primary elections, and what’s to come in the November general election.
  • 3:15 – 4:00 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

     - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: What it is, Why it Matters and How SC Cities are Bringing it to the Forefront 
    Local governments around the nation are encouraging and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion — both within their organizations and in the communities they serve. Learn what steps two South Carolina cities are taking to be leaders in this effort and why they see it as critical to their future success.

     - Policing and the Reform Movement: What Councils Need to Know
    Law enforcement has faced difficult times in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, which led to civil unrest and calls for changes to the policing profession. In the last two years, the South Carolina General Assembly and the U.S. Congress considered legislation that impacts the high-risk critical tasks in law enforcement. This session will educate mayors and councilmembers on these critical tasks and what they need to know about managing the risks associated with law enforcement.
  • 4:15 – 5:00 p.m.  Verbal Judo: Tactical Communication in Public Forums 
    This presentation offers the fundamental knowledge and strategies necessary for municipal officials to improve communication and deescalate agitated people in a public setting.
  • 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. - Welcome Reception 
    Kick off the Annual Meeting and enjoy cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres while catching up with old friends and making new ones. 

Friday, July 15

  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.  Registration
  • 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall 
  • 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.   Opening Session - Keynote: Matt Lehrman, Managing Director, Social Prosperity Partners
    The purpose of local government isn’t merely to solve problems — it’s to inspire a vibrant vision for a community’s future. This session explores ways for leaders to gather consensus around their city’s or town’s highest aspirations, and how an openness to opportunity can serve as the foundation for community pride, civility and prosperity.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Visit Exhibit Hall
  • 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Delegates’ Luncheon $50 
    Address: Amy Dee
    Relax over lunch and hear a fun and inspirational message from comedian Amy Dee. 
  • 2:15 - 3:15  Concurrent Sessions
    Participants may attend any of the sessions if interested. Each topic is designed for a specific population-size category.

     - Population 20,000 and above: Keeping the Party Safe
    Keeping the visitors of an entertainment district safe is a big responsibility for many municipalities. Learn how the City of Columbia established a Hospitality District Task Force to accomplish that mission in multiple entertainment districts. Using a team that includes specialists in alcohol laws, code enforcement, traffic control and well-trained police officers, the city has created real success.

     - Population 5,000 – 20,000: Economic Development
    Economic development is one of the key components of the Municipal Association of SC Strategic Plan. What are the tools, law changes, and knowledge that small-to-medium-sized cities need to succeed in economic development? Learn more in this roundtable discussion.

     - Population below 5,000: Police Reform and Incivility
    The issues of police reform and incivility are affecting the operation of small cities and towns everywhere. Learn more about these issues, their potential impact and ways to minimize disruptions.
  • 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. 2022 State Legislature Wrap-Up 
    This year marked the conclusion of the SC General Assembly’s 2021 – 2022 legislative session. Join the Municipal Association’s advocacy team to learn about all of the bills that passed, or didn’t, that will affect cities and towns across the state.
  • 4:30 - 5:15 p.m.  Municipal Family Feud
  • 4:15 - 5:30 p.m.  Mayors' Roundtable  

Saturday, July 16

  • 8:00 a.m. – noon  Registration
  • 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Achievement Awards Presentation
    Learn from the accomplishments of this year’s winners of the Municipal Achievement Awards and the Main Street South Carolina Excellence on Main Street Award.  
  • 10:00– 11:00 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions

     - Social Media Pointers and Pitfalls for Elected Officials

    Did you know that blocking someone from your personal social media page might be a violation of the First Amendment? Or that you could be held personally liable for defamation based on your social media activity? This session will explore the legal and practical considerations involved in using both official and personal social media accounts, offering some basic pointers on making effective use of the virtual public square.

     - Five Questions to Ask Your Business Licensing Officials 
    After the passage of Act 176, there are several things your city needs to be doing to ensure compliance. This session will cover common problems cities need to tackle.
  • 11:15 a.m. – noon  Concurrent Sessions
     - Do You Really Need to Leave the Room? Conflicts of Interest and Recusals
    The South Carolina Ethics Act provides that public officials may not knowingly use their official office to obtain an economic interest for themselves or any related persons or businesses. This provision, known as the conflict-of-interest rule, requires that affected public officials recuse themselves from the matter. When do you have a conflict of interest? What exactly is recusal? This session will consider these questions in light of recent rulings by the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

     - The SC Election Commission's Role in Municipal Elections
    Understanding the role South Carolina Election Commission and the impact of recent changes in election law on the commission and elections is important for South Carolina cities. In this session, you will get resources that are commonly needed when answering questions about election integrity, as well as the commission’s plans for promoting municipal elections in 2023.
  • 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.  Coffee, Cake and Cocktails $20
    After dinner on Saturday night, come by and enjoy a dessert and cocktail reception with DJ Dave Gilbert. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with colleagues from across the state.