Township board to look at self-improvement

FLINT TWP. – In coming months, the township board will be self-evaluating with a goal to be recognized as a Township of Excellence or just to do better at governance.

Clerk Kathy Funk initiated the process by providing fellow board members with a packet of information about the Michigan Township Association’s (MTA) “Township of Excellence” criteria for recognition.

Funk said she attended a MTA training stressing that “we should be envisioning and setting goals for the future as part of our regular agenda – being proactive instead of reactive.”

It has been suggested that the board needs to add goal planning to its agenda, she said.

Funk is proposing that the board and various departments undergo “self-evaluation’ in order to identify strengths and weaknesses and also to set goals for improvement in areas identified as needing to change.

The MTA Township of Excellence program is a prestigious designation awarded to qualifying township that “demonstrate superior processes and outcomes in governance, along with adherence to best practices involving its statutory duties of financial stewardship, assessing, tax collection and election administration.” according to MTA application criteria. Boards can seek the designation after working together for a minimum of six month. The designation is good for a four-year term but can be renewed.

The goal of having the designation includes being a point of pride for residents and also recognition for exemplary township governance.

Criteria considered includes having a multiyear strategic plan, reviewed annually, to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and strategies to achieve a long-range vision.

Accessibility and communication is also rated including whether the township has an up-to-date website or publishes a newsletter at least twice a

Other sections pertain to essential board policies, professional development, policymaking, community involvement, intergovernmental collaboration, land use management and economic development and much more.

Regardless of whether the board attains MTA recognition as a Township of Excellence, it will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is adhering to best practices in serving residents and businesses, Funk said.

She added that she already is making changes in the election division based on what she has learned.

She asked the board to read through the materials and be ready in about a month to review and strategize ideas at a township board meeting.

Board members were open to her suggestion. Trustee Frank Kasle called it an excellent idea.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller noted that several board members including herself, the clerk and treasurer are taking professional development training. The clerk and treasurer are taking certification training in their respective areas and individual board member are participating in the MTA Governance Academy, she said.

“I want to do it right and do it better,” said Trustee Tom Klee, who is taking some of the classes.

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