April 3, 2020
IN THIS ISSUE
OPEN MEETINGS ACT
AG warns on meeting 'hijackings'; MAC offers guidance on virtual sessions

As counties ( large and small) and other public bodies adapt to physical distancing with virtual meetings, issues are arising with disruptions.

This week, Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a warning about examples of meetings being “hijacked”:

“We were alerted to this problem by a Michigan reporter who participated in a Zoom conference that was hijacked,” Nessel said. “Since then we have learned of other incidents around the country. There are steps people can take to protect their cybersecurity and we encourage all users to follow the proper procedures to ensure their teleconferences are secure.” ...

INDIGENT DEFENSE
MIDC FY21 compliance plan deadline extended

The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission held a special public meeting March 27 to address immediate needs related to COVID-19. A letter was sent to funding units this week outlining the commission decisions and their guidance to counties as they work through these unprecedented times.

 First, the commission approved a motion that reiterates standards 2 and 4 remain in effect through this crisis. MIDC staff will work to ensure funding units have plans and budgets that can accommodate remote capabilities during this state of emergency.
...

COVID-19 CRISIS
MAC webinar goes over Michigan status, fields county questions

During an hour-plus session with administrators and board chairs on April 1, MAC staffers led by Executive Director Stephan Currie detailed Michigan’s current situation and key issues affecting county governments on the front lines of the corona response.


In an extensive Q&A period at the end of the webinar, commissioners and administrators raised the following issues: ...

MAC NEWS
Help us tell county stories during crisis

MAC is reaching out to our members to help us collect special stories about county employees responding to the corona crisis. They need not be extensive – just items that show how hard county employees are working for their neighbors in this crisis.

Any photos you have tied to such stories are most appreciated. Please send any material to melot@micounties.org.

We are collecting information our website and will share via our social media channels.

Here’s an example of such stories/vignettes that we are looking for: https://www.naco.org/articles/coronavirus-counties-move-protect-elderly-vulnerable-residents
JAILS
Webinar to support county 'Stepping Up' partnerships

On April 30, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, join a webinar on information to aid counties participating in the “ Stepping Up” initiative on mental health in county jails.


Partnerships and collaboration are considered essential ingredients in establishing an effective continuum of services across the Sequential Intercept Model. SAMHSA’s GAINS Center presents a webinar discussion with practitioners who have established effective partnerships and collaboration across the intercepts to increase services for justice-involved individuals with mental and substance use disorders.

Presenters will share the perspectives and strategies that have been critical to their success.
MEMBER NEWS
In difficult times, it's important to focus on gratitude, well-being

Midland Administrator/Controller Bridgette Gransden shared these thoughts with MAC:

Merci. Arigato. Danke. Grazie. Mahalo. Gracias. Thank you. No matter what language, the words that mean thank you have a way of making us feel better. There are many types of happiness: mood, emotions, affective style, life satisfaction, well-being and flourishing. Showing gratitude is an intentional activity that can help us increase life satisfaction and make us happier. Happy people are more likely to succeed, have more fulfilling relationships, and be both physically and mentally healthier — who wouldn’t want that?

Showing gratitude sounds easy. As a child you were likely taught to say please and thank you and right on cue that’s what you do. Although a general “thank you” is positive, research has shown that we get more of a happiness boost when we describe in detail what we are grateful for and so does the person to whom we are expressing our gratitude. What exactly are we grateful for? What was the emotional impact? How did that make you feel? You get the idea. …

COVID-19
MAC NEWS
County leaders, look for survey info in email, mailboxes
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak placing tremendous stress on so many of our communities, we’re hoping you might find time to share your experiences through the upcoming round of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) program is coming soon to your mailbox.

The MPPS is an annual statewide survey of local government officials conducted by the University of Michigan in collaboration with the Michigan Townships Association (MTA), Michigan Municipal League (MML), and Michigan Association of Counties (MAC). ...


MAC SERVICES
Download MAC's app for 24/7
MAC's full-service association app, MICounties, is available for FREE at the App Store and Google Play. It provides information about MAC conferences, legislative resources (committees, schedules, bill tracking) and MAC services.

Tips for your new app:

  • The app is FREE for download thanks to our sponsor, DTE Energy.
  • Be sure to search for "MI Counties" (Apple) or "MICounties" (Google) to ease the downloading process.
  • No registration is required; just download it to your phone and start using it today!
MAC SERVICES
Have a job to fill? MAC can help
Need to fill a key position in your county team? MAC can help. Our Jobs Hub page is the go-to source for county leaders looking to find the best employees. A $75 fee covers a posting of up to 30 days, along with promotion via MAC's social media channels

Jobs now to be found at the hub:

  • Emergency Dispatch Authority Director, Ogemaw County
  • Financial and Administrative Services Director, Michigan Association of Counties
  • Township Manager, Marquette Charter Township

For more information, visit the  MAC Jobs Hub  or contact Derek Melot,  melot@micounties.org  or 517-372-5374.
MAC SERVICES
Have you joined MAC's Commissioners Forum?
MAC's  online message board  allows county commissioners to share challenges, solutions and ideas with their colleagues. You must register to use the message board. Easy-to-follow instructions for registration can be  found here .

For more information on the Forum, contact Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org .
The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC), founded on February 1, 1898, is the only statewide organization dedicated to the representation of all county commissioners in Michigan.
MAC is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization which advances education, communication and cooperation among county government officials in Michigan. MAC is the counties' voice at the State Capitol, providing legislative support on key issues affecting counties.
Michigan Association of Counties
110 W. Michigan Ave. Suite 200,
Lansing, MI 48933
Tel: (800) 258-1152 or (517) 372-5374
Fax: (517)482-4599