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February 19, 2020

In this issue:



   Microphone and Gavel   

Five Ways to Avoid Violating the Open Meetings Act

Anne M. Seurynck

Municipal boards, commissions, Zoning Board of Appeals and many municipal committees are subject to the Open Meetings Act ("OMA"). 

While officials often receive training regarding the basics of the OMA, municipalities often make some common mistakes that can easily be avoided. Below we have addressed five mistakes and how to avoid them...




Credit Card Surcharges for Municipalities

Alexander J. Thibodeau

In the course of providing services and resources to its community, a municipal government might consider accepting credit card payments from its citizens. Just like any business, a city, county, township, or village must enter into a merchant agreement with each credit card brand it intends to accept before it can begin dealing in plastic.

It is easy to assume that all of the major credit card companies offer generally the same things, but each contract is likely to have nuanced differences that may be important to you as the municipal merchant...

   Alex Thibodeau

Alexander J. Thibodeau





Foster Swift Participates in the MTA Conference 

April 27-30, 2020

For nearly two decades, Foster Swift attorneys have sponsored the annual Michigan Townships Association's (MTA) Educational Conference & Expo which focuses on providing a hands-on, practical approach to solving some of Michigan townships' pressing issues. This year’s conference takes place April 27-30 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan. Be sure to catch one of the following sessions featuring a Foster Swift attorney...


Municipalities Held Hostage: Addressing the Rise of Ransomware 

Foster Swift business & cybersecurity attorney Taylor A. Gast's recent article was published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Michigan Municipal League's The Review

The article examines the ever-growing, ever-evolving landscape of ransomware and other cyber threats, as well as what municipalities can do to address these risks. View the full article in the digital issue below.

If you suspect your organization or public entity is under threat of ransomware or a cyber attack, don't wait. Contact Foster Swift's cybersecurity hotline at (517) FS1-TASK or (517) 371-8275.




MSP Breathalyzer Fraud Problem Could Affect Municipal Prosecutions

Richard L. Hillman

On January 14, 2020 the Michigan State Police (MSP) notified all local law enforcement agencies to discontinue using their evidential breath alcohol testing devices due to apparent fraudulent recordkeeping by a third party vendor that had contracted with MSP to inspect and service the devices. All breathalyzer instruments throughout Michigan are required to be purchased and maintained by MSP...






Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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Copyright © 2020 Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC.

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