Sessions already being planned for Thursday, May 2, 2024
These presentations are currently in the works and being planned. Topics and speakers may change.


Assessment for Boards (2 parts)
Warren Wheeler, NYS Assessors Association

It is imperative for good customer relations that everyone knows and understands their respective roles and duties. This course will provide a better understanding of the Assessor’s office. It will also cover how developing a mutual working relationship between the town board, clerk and the assessor can provide the best service possible to both the taxpayer and the town, all while making each other’s jobs more efficient. Part 1 will look at the qualifications to become an assessor, a general overview of their respective duties and what a typical assessment calendar looks like. Part 2 will examine the laws that govern how assessments are determined, the methodologies that assessors use, and the grievance process. We will also take a look at some of the more popular and widely administered tax exemptions and their impact on tax rates.

Covering Municipal Assets

New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal


Retirement Reporting: Elected and Appointed Officials
Marsha Miles, Office of the NYS Comptroller

This presentation will cover NYCRR (Regulation) 315.4 and answers to common questions including what is required of employers and elected and appointed officials, how do I complete a resolution and why, why do elected and appointed officials need to keep a Record of Activities (ROA), and wow do I report days worked for elected and appointed officials or change them.

Historic Preservation

Matthew Johnson, NYS Tug Hill Commission and NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation


What’s Coming Down the Road?
Tim Hunt, Lewis County Highway Department and Megan Osika, Park Strategies, LLC

Attendees will be provided a preview of some of the regulatory and policy challenges currently faced by New York State’s Local Highway Departments such as electrification, GHG reduction efforts, fleet replacements and road salt reduction initiatives.

Affordable Rural Housing
Local Government Training Program, NYSDOS

Affordable housing is a topic shrouded in misconceptions and strong biases. One thing is certain: it cannot be ignored. Public interest and case law require municipalities to address the affordable housing needs of their regions. This course examines the history and evolution of laws, policies and programs pertaining to affordable housing. Exclusionary zoning case law is highlighted, as well as the benefits of using land use tools such as inclusionary zoning regulations and accessory apartments to provide affordable housing. Strategies to preserve existing affordable housing, the process of developing affordable housing, and affordable housing design are also discussed.

The Tug Hill Commission’s Traffic Safety Program: A Resource for Communities
Chris Barboza, Mickey Dietrich, and Gabriel Yerdon, NYS Tug Hill Commission, and Jason Mahar, Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee

The NYS Tug Hill Commission Traffic Safety Program session provides an overview of the Traffic Safety Coordinator position, and services that are available to municipalities within the four-county region. This session will discuss MetroCount Traffic Counter data collection, traffic safety countermeasures (digital radar signs), grant funding opportunities, crash data overview and mitigation measures, and the importance of increasing traffic safety awareness through outreach and education.


Zoning: An Introduction
Local Government Training Program, NYSDOS

Zoning is among the most far reaching legislative actions a local government can take. All cities in New York and the majority of villages and towns in the state have zoning, which is typically used to separate incompatible uses. Zoning can also be used to channel development and preserve natural resources and community character—contrary to what many think, protection of a great deal of these resources is left to local governments. This course takes a very basic look at zoning and how it can be used to address some of the challenges local governments have encountered in recent years.


Innovative Land Use Techniques
Dan Spitzer and Alicia Legland, Hodgson and Russ, LLP

This session will cover certain lesser-used land use techniques, such as cluster subdivisions, planned unit developments, and overlay districts, which can be used to address various land use concerns in a municipality.


Land Use and SEQR Case Law Update
Matthew J. Fitzgerald, Phillips Lytle, LLP


Permitting of Renewable Public Utility Variances and Battery Storage
Dan Spitzer and Alicia Legland, Hodgson and Russ, LLP

This session will cover municipal permitting of renewable energy projects like solar, wind, and battery energy storage as well as the case law in New York for permitting such projects at the local level under the public utility variance standard.


ZBA Basics


Joint Boards: Options for Consolidating Review Boards
Local Government Training Program, NYSDOS

Some local governments across the state have been challenged to find citizens able to serve on their planning boards and zoning boards of appeals. One option is to reduce the number of board members; another is for villages and towns to form joint village-town planning boards and sometimes village-town zoning boards of appeals. This course discusses these and other innovative approaches to maintaining planning boards and zoning boards of appeals.


Ethics for Planning and Zoning Boards
Sarah Brancatella, Association of Towns of the State of New York

Your neighbor needs a variance and you’re on the ZBA, can you review their application? Is the planning board secretary allowed to sell property to the town? Can a planning board member also act as the bookkeeper? This course will review what the law says about ethics and public officials; discuss tools towns can use to address ethics issues; and explain how to analyze situations to ensure compliance with the law.


Questions and Answers for Planning Boards and  Zoning Boards of Appeals
Matthew J. Fitzgerald, Phillips Lytle, LLP

This is your chance to ask the expert about your burning legal questions. This session is an open-floor format for questions and answers about planning and zoning issues.


Roads, Liability, Risks, and Torts
David P. Orr, Cornell Local Roads

Liability is a major concern for local municipalities and highway departments. There is a lot of misunderstanding about how to deal with liability, risks, and associated torts. Highway officials and board members need to be on the same pages to protect your municipality. This interactive session will include parts of the NYS LTAP Center – Cornell Local Roads Program’s new workshop on Reducing Liability for Highway and Public Works Departments and answer your questions and dealing with torts.


Siting Large Renewable Energy Facilities – The NYS Office of Renewable Energy Siting Process
NYS Office of Renewable Energy Siting

This session will provide an overview of the recently adopted NYS Executive Law 94-c process for siting and permitting large-scale renewable solar and wind energy facilities in New York State. Topics will include an overview of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act; creation of the NYS Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES); Eligible facilities; the 94-c Regulations; the application review process and timelines; Pre-application procedures and expectations; local municipal participation; and case studies illustrating implementation of the 94-c regulations.

Collaborative Solutions for Rural Workforce Development

Khris Dodson, New York Water Environment Association; Jeff Ginger, Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES; and Marty Miller, Village of Massena


Micron’s New York Expansion
Joe Nehme, Micron

Learn about Micron’s historic investment of up to $100 billion to build megafab in Central New York.

Municipal Clerks Guide to Bingo and Games of Chance Licensing

Stacy Harvey, Division of Charitable Gaming

A brief overview of the laws and regulations governing the issuance of licenses to authorized charitable organizations seeking to conduct games of chance and bingo. The session will review how a municipality files a games of chance or bingo local law that has been enacted, with the Gaming Commission. We will also review what is required when an authorized charitable organization files a license application. The course will provide detailed information regarding the forms and fees that are required as well as compliance by the organizations with financial reporting after the games have been conducted.

Hot Topics for Clerks

Sarah Brancatella and Lori-Mithen Demasi, Association of Towns of the State of New York

Annual Financial Reporting

Jacklyn Postulka and Joseph Testa, Office of the NYS Comptroller

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) uses the new Annual Financial Report (AFR) application to collect annual financial reports submitted by local governments. Come learn about the system’s features, how to access and navigate reports, what additional information you need to report and some common reporting errors to avoid.


The Open Meetings Law: An Overview and Update
Kristin O’Neill, Committee on Open Government

This program will provide an interactive overview of a public body’s obligations under the Open Meetings Law, with a special focus on recent legislative amendments, including amendments relating to videoconferencing.


Architectural Style, Grade, and Condition (Six-hour training course for Assessors.)
Rob Bick, AIA CSI, SCA

An “Architectural Style” is a specific method of construction, characterized by the features that make it notable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, materials, and regional character. Styles therefore emerge from the history of society, its’ changing beliefs, religions, economies, available technologies. In this 6-hour course, we will outline some of the more common architectural styles evident in our work as Assessors, define the criteria that determine the condition and construction grade of a property and how the specific style, grade, and condition influence valuation. We will also investigate some “non-conventional” styles and discuss how one might attempt to place a value on such structures. There also may be… a quiz! Assessors will receive 6 hours of CE credits for attending the entire session.


Click here to see what we’ve done in past conferences.