Online Training Academy - Legislative

The Online Training Academy (OTA) is a series of web-based courses designed to build strong authorities. This convenient and cost-effective training has been developed for authority board members, consultants and management staff, billing departments, financial staff, treatment plant and work crew employees.

Each one-hour webinar will consist of a 45 minute presentation along with an interactive question and answer period. Webinars allow us to provide more training to an even broader geographic area and make learning opportunities more accessible to all employees throughout your organization. Every member of the authority team benefits from these courses!  The registration fee is $40, unless prepaid credits were purchased.

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Ask The Solicitor: FAQ’s From Municipal Authorities

(Originally presented on March 4, 2015. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

Every day, authorities are faced with tough questions on a variety of issues. This webinar will focus on some frequently asked questions on such topics as:

  • Municipality Authorities Act

  • The Sunshine Act

  • Right to Know Law

  • Recent Case Law Impacting Municipal Authorities

  • Stormwater Issues Relevant to Municipal Authorities

Our presenter and PMAA East Solicitor, Steve Hann, will address these topics and answer attendee questions during this informative session.

Presenter: Steve Hann, Esquire, Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C.

 

The Ethics Act and You – An overview of the Pennsylvania Ethics Act and its Implication upon Public Employees

(Originally presented Wednesday, May 14, 2014. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

The State Ethics Act was enacted to strengthen the faith and confidence of state and local citizens in their government, and to ensure that the financial interests of holders, nominees and/or candidates for public offices do not conflict with the public trust.  It is important to always keep in mind that public office is a public trust, and that any effort to realize personal financial gain through your public office, other than compensation provided by law, is a violation of that trust.

As a currently serving public official, you are subject to the provisions of the Ethics Act.

This webinar has been designed to explain the mandates of the Ethics Act as it relates to public officials and employees, and to explore and define potential conflicts of interest situations that public officials/employees should avoid.  Actual case scenarios will be presented and discussed as examples of situations relevant to public positions.  Substantive and administrative aspects of personal disclosure statement will also be discussed, as well as the purpose and benefit of advisory opinions.

Attendees of this webinar will be provided with an overview of ethical standards required of public officials in Pennsylvania such as:

  • Avoidance of Conflicts of Interests

  • Statement of Financial Interests Filing Requirements

  • Travel, Hospitality, Lodging and Gift acceptance

During this session, we will be reviewing recent Commission rulings and decisions which may impact municipal authority officials.

Presenter: Brian D. Jacisin, Esq. – Deputy Executive Director/Director of Investigations

 

The Evolution of Tapping Fees – Past, Present, and Future

(Originally presented on September 24, 2015. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

Tapping fees as we now know them will turn 25 this year. Although the Municipality Authorities Act always authorized the collection of a “tapping fee” there was no guidance as to its purpose or how this fee was to be calculated until 1990. This webinar will discuss a bit of tapping fee history and its 2003 amendments. We will also work through some of the concepts imbedded in the act and how they are applied to individual connections.

Specific areas covered in this session will include:

  • Tapping Fees a “fee” or a “tax” - Why Act 203 was needed in order to prevent legal challenges over the right to impose and collect a tapping fee.

  • The Uniform and Reasonable Standard and the Role of Assessments - Authorities have several ways to recover costs; why tapping fees? So what does a property owner get for all this money anyway?

  • What are the Fees and What Do They Cover? - Act 203 defined three fees that could be collected from new connections to a water and/or system:  Connection Fee, Customer Facilities Fee, and a Tapping Fee that has four parts. Each fee is calculated separately.

  • Basic Formula and Calculations

  • Act 57 Amendments and Silly Math Tricks

  • When to Recalculate - You have a tapping fee, should you change it? What are the factors that should be considered and is change a good thing?

Presenters:
Aurel M. Arndt, Executive Director, Lehigh County Authority
Russell F. McIntosh, Vice President, Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, Inc.
Adrienne M. Vicari, Manager of Financial Services, Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, Inc.

 

Fundamentals of Administering the Right to Know Law

(Originally presented October 22, 2015. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

This one hour session will cover the main points of Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, including agency requirements, important deadlines, and best practices.  Questions from the audience will also be addressed during the webinar. This information is helpful for any public official and/or employee who is subject to the law, as well as those responsible for administering an agency’s Right to Know program.

The presenter for this session, George Spiess, is the Chief of Outreach and Training for the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records (OOR), where he provides sessions for government officials and employees, solicitors, reporters, and the general public.

George has over 30 years of government service working in a number of state agencies and commissions, primarily in human resources and information technology.  He is also the Open Records Officer for the OOR, which responds to nearly 1000 Right to Know requests annually.

The OOR manages several phone lines and e-mail accounts to answer time-sensitive questions concerning both the Right to Know Law as well as the Sunshine Act.

Presenter: George Spiess, Chief of Outreach & Training, PA Office of Open Records

 

Overview of Water Termination Laws: Which Law Applied Depending on Type of Customer, Type of Service (water/sewer)

(Originally presented on April 9, 2014. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

Several statues exist that provide for the termination of water service for nonpayment of water and/or sewer bills. Determining which law applies and under what circumstances will be presented. The session will also outline the different procedures prescribed in the various laws for termination of service. In addition, examples of proper authority rules and regulations of water termination procedures for delinquent accounts will be shared. Finally, strategies for compelling delinquent sewer customers (not connected to public water) to pay their bill will be explored.

  • Law by flowchart – Outline of water termination laws depending on type of customer (residential property owner/renter) and type of service (water/sewer)

  • Overview of procedures to follow in each law

  • Examples of authority rules and regulations for water termination procedures

  • Strategies/recommendations to motivate delinquent sewer customers in paying their bill

Presenter: Jennifer L. Case, Government Relations Liaison, PA Municipal Authorities Association

 

“Selling” Stormwater Management including presentation of the exclusive Pennsylvania Stormwater Survey with Recommendations

(Originally presented November 13, 2014. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

Pennsylvania’s local governments have the legal authority to create new stormwater authorities to control flooding and water pollution — but will residents be ready to accept another fee? Join us to review market research insights into this question and get tips on how to make the best possible case to local ratepayers.

  • Review results of local government survey perceptions and needs

  • Review results of Pennsylvania residents perceptions

  • Share messaging resources to implement in your communities efforts

Presenter: Eric Eckl, Water Words That Work, LLC

 

Ten Things Authority Board Members and Management Employees Should Know

(Originally presented April 26, 2016. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

Learn more about the Ten Things Authority Board Members and Management Employees Should Know!

This interactive webinar will cover ten important topics, all taken from the Municipality Authorities Act and related laws (e.g., Sunshine Act, Ethics Act) that authority managers should be aware of in the day-to-day operation of a municipal authority. Board members are also encouraged to attend as we will be discussing things they should know in their decision making process provided to them by law.

Specific areas covered in this session will include:

  • Monies of the Authority – What they cannot be used for and legal action if violated.

  • Communications by E-mail and Sunshine Act Issues

  • Board Appointments – What is legal and what is not with WHEN, WHOM, and HOW

  • Board Member Conflict of Interest – As they relate to the State Ethics Act and the Municipality Authorities Act.

  • Bylaws and Regulations – What should be in them, how often updated.

  • Board Meetings – Quorums (present vs. attendance by phone). What is permitted in law.


Our presenter and PMAA East Solicitor, Steve Hann, will address these topics and answer attendee questions during this informative session.

Presenter: Steve Hann, Esquire, Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C.

 

Understanding Provisions of the Municipality Authorities Act.  A Closer Look at Puzzling, Misinterpreted, or Neglected Sections of the Act.

(Originally presented on June 26, 2014. A link of this archived session will be emailed to you to view at your convenience. Please use the registration link below.)

PMAA receives questions on a regular basis from authority managers and staff, board members, and solicitors asking our interpretations of certain sections of the Act. This webinar will address those sections of the Act that provoke the most questions on interpretations and those sections most overlooked.

Examples of what we will cover:

  • Board members-appointments, compensation, conflicts

  • Monies of the Authority-spending prohibitions

  • Annual reports, Advertising, Bid Limits

Presenter: John Brosious, PMAA

 

Click here to register and pay online for any of the above listed webinars.

 

Click here to register if your authority has pre-paid webinar credits.

 

Important Information

What you need: -A computer (Mac or PC) with high-speed internet access -Speakers or headphones to listen to the audio portion of the sessions -A valid email address for registration You will receive login information via email two days prior to the scheduled event and a final reminder one hour before the start of the webinar.

Webinar Cost – $40 per session

Cancellation Policy All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to PMAA via fax, mail or email.  No refunds will be granted for a cancellation notice received less than 48 hours before each session. Substitute registrants are welcome; please email Craig Fahnestock at fahnestock@municipalauthorities.org.