Thursday, June 30, 2022

Prepare for the 2022 Annual Meeting

The Municipal Association’s 2022 Annual Meeting is happening this July 14 – 17 in Charleston, tackling major issues like law enforcement practices, civil communication as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. Attendees can review the meeting agenda and session previews to help them decide which of the concurrent sessions they want to attend. 

Session previews 

On a recent podcast, Municipal Association Executive Director Todd Glover and Chief Operating Officer Jake Broom discussed many of the sessions happening at the Annual meeting, focusing on key themes like economic development and civility in government. 

The Association’s board of directors included civility as a top priority in its strategic plan last year, and the topic has informed the meetings and resources the Association has offered since then. Matt Lehrman, who spoke at Hometown Legislative Action Day, will return for the Annual Meeting to discuss how elected officials can facilitate the difficult public conversations that defuse conflict. Learn more about Lehrman’s message in this article and this podcast. Civility will also be on the agenda in the session on “Verbal Judo,” a skill involved in effective persuasion and conflict resolution. The Uptown article that describes that session also covers a concurrent session on what municipal councils need to know about the status of law enforcement reform. Another article highlights municipal initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Business license standardization remains a critical topic since the SC Business License Tax Standardization Act went into effect this year. During one of the Annual Meeting’s concurrent sessions, the Association’s Manager for Local Revenue Services Caitlin Cothran will explain five key questions that officials should ask their business licensing staff to ensure their city or town is complying with the law. 

Download the Municipal Association app 

The Municipal Association’s recently launched app isn’t just for events, but it does offer plenty of event information for the Annual Meeting. Attendees can use the app to plan which of the various concurrent sessions they want to attend through the meeting agenda. 

The app also gives users information on speakers and exhibitors. Beyond the Annual Meeting, it offers access to resources like the Association’s training calendar, municipal directory, staff listing and job openings. Download the app from either the App Store or Google Play by searching for “Municipal Association of SC.” Association staff will be available at the Annual Meeting to assist with the app.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Learn More About the City Connect Market

In 2021, the Municipal Association launched the City Connect Market, a cooperative purchasing partnership with HGACBuy that allows South Carolina cities and towns to take advantage of volume discounts for many of their purchases — anything from fire trucks to body cameras and temporary staffing. This summer, the Association is offering multiple opportunities for municipalities to learn more about the service, both through a virtual orientation event and through short sessions at the Annual Meeting

HGACBuy is a decades-old program that began with the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Texas. Today, its staff receives bids and assists local governments across the nation with purchasing. In addition to improving pricing through volume purchases, the program improves efficiency by eliminating the need for each municipality to handle all details of the competitive bid process. The program helps with purchasing in 41 major categories of products as well as with services offered by more than 800 contractors. The Municipal Association’s Chief Operating Officer Jake Broom previously appeared on the Association’s podcast to explain the program in detail

Virtual session 

The summer’s first City Connect Market event will be the virtual session coming next Wednesday, June 22 at 11 a.m., providing participants with an opportunity to hear directly from vendors. 

The session will feature two breakouts as well. One will cover fire service apparatus, emergency preparedness and safety equipment, as well as temporary and direct-hire staffing. The other will address law enforcement speed detection and video equipment; video surveillance, access control and security fencing systems; and hazard consulting and recovery services. 

“Buying Made Simple” sessions at the Annual Meeting

HGACBuy officials and vendors will also present at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Charleston. They will host brief sessions explaining many of the available contracts, including 
  • ambulance, EMS and special service vehicles; 
  • emergency medical and rescue equipment;
  • marketing, public relations and event planning services;
  • parks and recreation equipment; 
  • street maintenance equipment; and 
  • trenchless pipeline rehabilitation.
The “Buying Made Simple” sessions will take place in the Charleston Place Hotel’s Drayton Room. Find the schedule for these sessions and the rest of the Annual Meeting agenda here

Learn more about the program on the Association’s website or by contacting Jake Broom at 803.933.1270 or

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Take Advantage of the Municipal Association’s Listserves

The Municipal Association of SC offers 14 listserves for different kinds of officials and staff members. Through these listserves, users can connect with colleagues across the state, asking questions and learning about best practices. They also allow users to search through past discussion threads, set up polls to ask questions and share documents. 

There are individual listserves for the Municipal Association’s various affiliate organizations. These listserves address the professional needs of business licensing officials, community development officials, court administrators, finance directors, clerks and treasurers, human resources directors, Main Street South Carolina program directors, municipal attorneys, municipal power system managers, stormwater managers, technology directors and utility billing officials. 

Some of the listserves aren’t connected to any of the affiliate organizations, including the listserve for the state’s planning and zoning officials, and one for city managers and administrators. One is available for public information officers — both those city staff members with that title, and those who have communication aspects in their jobs, which includes city managers and administrators as well as other department heads.


Listserve discussions can cover an incredibly wide range of topics, raised by officials learning how their colleagues handle particular issues of concern. Here are a few recent examples: 
  • The SC Municipal Human Resources Association – The single most active listserve has recently discussed job task tests for firefighters, take-home vehicle policies as a hiring incentive for police officers, and offering Hepatitis vaccines for public safety workers. 
  • The SC Municipal Finance Officers, Clerks and Treasurers Association – Recent threads on the MFOCTA listserve have included which cities and towns use a convenience fee for credit card purchases at city hall, the public meetings for which cities are providing livestreaming — city council meetings, committee meetings, board meetings — and guidance for how cities should report their American Rescue Plan expenditures. 
  • Planning and zoning — In recent months, conversations on this listserve have included regulating donation centers within a city, setting timelines for a property with a nonconforming use under the city’s zoning to conform with the zoning code, and handling applications for vinyl wraps to be placed on the exterior of buildings in the historic district. 

Setting a listserve account 

Everyone with a current affiliate membership is a member of the affiliate’s listserve. They can access their listserve through their member home page on the Association’s website. 

To assess a listserve for the first time, members should log in at, select “Member Home,” then set communication preferences, such as whether they want to receive email notifications about posts. 

Join other listserves on this webpage by selecting “request access” on the appropriate listserve. The listserves have several orientation videos, including one explaining listserve features, one that provides a walkthrough for requesting access, and one that explains how to set up a profile, including notification preferences. 

For listserve assistance, call the helpline at 803.933.1297.