Annual Meeting Coming to Greenville July 18 – 21

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Municipal Association of South Carolina is coming to the Hyatt Regency in Greenville on July 18 – 21, a time for city and town officials to learn and to find inspiration for their hometowns.

Falls Park in Greenville, SC
Projects along Falls Park will be highlighted in the yeah, that greenville© preconference session.

The meeting will dig into topics as diverse as strategic planning and using "opportunity zones" for development, integrating community engagement into public safety, and managing the new frontiers of governance brought on by technological development, like online communication with residents or regulating short-term rentals.

The Association's legislative staff will look back at the impact the 2019 session of the General Assembly will have for cities and towns. Motivational speaker Jody Urquhart, whose work has often investigated how to operate effectively in times of stress and change, will serve as the luncheon speaker after the Opening General Session. The Association's Risk Management Services will again demonstrate the response to resistance simulator, an interactive training tool that teaches officers how to make good decisions about use of force in an active situation.

Attendees can find the conference agenda online.

Preconference opportunities
Attendees can register for preconference workshops for the morning of Thursday, July 18. Since these sessions are additional education opportunities, they are not included in the base registration fee, but instead have their own participation costs.

  • yeah, that greenville©: Taking place mostly on foot and hosted by City of Greenville staff, this session will tour successful redevelopment projects along Falls Park, in Greenville's West End and in the Village of West Greenville. Presenters will explain how Greenville applied strategic planning, private partnerships and the area's natural resources to make the downtown transformation possible.
  • Best Practices of Strategic Planning: Todd Arwood of Performance Partners will explain critical elements of strategic planning and how city and town councilmembers as well as other contributors, like municipal staff and consultants, can contribute toward the steady improvement of a community.
  • Media and Messaging in a Digital World: Digital and social media transitions have made crafting and sharing a city's story without dependence on media outlets easier, but these changes have also greatly impacted the expectations and behaviors that media consumers bring to the equation as well. Learn from media professionals from NP Strategy about how cities and towns can use tools to share their own messages in their own way.

Breakout sessions
Numerous breakout sessions will take place Thursday through Saturday. Here are some of the sessions attendees can select.

  • Connecting Law Enforcement with the Communities They Serve: After her husband, City of Forest Acres Officer Gregory Alia, was killed in the line of duty, Kassy Alia Ray built Serve & Connect to promote partnerships between police officers and their communities. She will explain some of the ways this community engagement can succeed.
  • Preparing Your City for Opportunity Zone Investments: The Investing in Opportunity Act of 2018, championed by U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, established opportunity zones in low-income communities nationwide and established tax incentives for investing in them. Find out how to market prospective projects to opportunity zone investors.
  • Returning Citizens to Work and Banning the Box: Learn about SC Department of Corrections programs to improve employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.
  • Addressing Residential Short-Term Rentals: A Tale of Two Cities: Hear from Mount Pleasant and Folly Beach staff on how they are addressing the challenges of growing nonhotel nightly rentals.
  • Demystifying Film Production in South Carolina: Learn how tourism departments can collaborate with the state's $1 billion film industry to bring some of its benefits home.
  • Addressing Veteran Housing Needs: Veterans are overrepresented in the homeless population, and the National League of Cities promotes the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Find out how cities and towns that administer planning and zoning regulations can handle the challenges of state and federal requirements relating to the housing needs of veterans.

The registration process for the 2019 meeting will be familiar to attendees of previous Annual Meetings. All registrations will need to use the Municipal Association's online process for reserving spots at the meeting and booking hotel rooms.

The Association's drawing on May 7 establishes a registration appointment time for each city and town. During these half-hour appointments, which will take place from Tuesday, May 28 – Thursday, May 30, Association staff will assist the representative of each municipality in registering all attending officials from that city. June 16 will be the deadline for all hotel reservations, and the July 1 will be the deadline for registering for the Annual Meeting itself.