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March 25, 2024: MTA Edition

In this issue:



   Signing Short Term Rental Agreement   

Short-Term Rental Regulation Act: What Local Governments Need to Know

Mallory E. Reader

A group of Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives recently introduced a package of bills addressing tourism, lodging, and short-term rentals. One of the most notable bills introduced is House Bill 5438: the Short-Term Rental Regulation Act. If enacted, the Act would impact not only short-term rentals but also local governments. Here’s what local government leaders need to know...

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Lindke v. Freed: When Public Officials Can Be Held Liable for Blocking Individuals on Social Media

Courtney Gabbara Agrusa

On Friday, March 15, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States (the “Court”) unanimously held that a public official engages in state action under 42 USC §1983 (“§1983”) when posting on social media about job-related topics only if the official 1) possesses actual authority to speak on the State’s behalf and 2) purports to exercise such authority when speaking on social media.

This decision comes in response to Lindke v Freed, a case involving a local public official who deleted comments made by, and ultimately blocked, a constituent on their personal social media page...

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   Courtney Gabbara Agrusa

Courtney Gabbara Agrusa

Courtney Agrusa Email  Courtney Agrusa Phone




You're Invited: Join Us for Lunch at the 2024 MTA Conference

April 23, 2024 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm in Tower C Room at MTA Annual Conference

Join Foster Swift's Business Solutions Session at the 2024 MTA Conference. Get a practical perspective on some of the timely, hot topics facing Michigan townships in 2024 including—but not limited to—marijuana, wind and solar energy, environmental issues, special assessments, zoning and land use, and compliance and changes to Michigan’s employment law.

This session is located in Tower C Room. While anyone may attend, lunch is guaranteed only to the first 100 who RSVP to Jake Leuvoy at

If there are any topics you would like addressed or discussed during the session please email by April 8. Be sure to catch one of the following MTA sessions below presented by a Foster Swift attorney.




Substance Use Policies and Your Township

April 23, 2024 from 1:00-2:15 pm at MTA Annual Conference

Speaker: Mark T. Koerner

Drug testing rules have changed significantly since the legalization of marijuana in Michigan. Did you know the Michigan Department of Transportation approved an oral fluid test for marijuana? Or that Michigan’s Civil Service Commission now excludes testing for marijuana under certain circumstances?

If you haven’t already considered reviewing and modifying your drug and alcohol testing policy, now is the time! Gain insights into all the recent changes and the impact on your township. We’ll also discuss the nuances of background checks.




Campaign Finance Act: What Can We Say?

April 24, 2024 from 1:00-2:15 pm at MTA Annual Conference

Speaker: Laura J. Genovich

When there’s a hot topic on the ballot— perhaps a millage increase or a marijuana ordinance—townships and their elected officials can find themselves unsure of what they can lawfully say or do. Can the township respond to incorrect campaign statements? Can township board members advocate for a certain vote during public meetings?

This session is a deep dive into the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, specifically Section 57. We will address how public resources can (and cannot) be used in connection with campaigns, what policymaking officials can say, and how townships can minimize the risk of campaign finance complaints.



   FOIA Spreadsheet   

Can They FOIA That?

April 24, 2024 from 2:45-4:00 pm at MTA Annual Conference

Speaker: Laura J. Genovich

How can your township be prepared for another onslaught of requests for voting records? This session is a boot camp on what is—and is not—a public record subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), focused on the surge of recent election-related FOIA requests.




Video: What Can My Business Contribute to a Campaign?

Legal Strategies for Women Leaders

With 2024 being an election year, many businesses have questions on making campaign contributions.

In the following video, municipal & election law attorney Mallory Reader discusses the topic of “campaign financing” along with:

  • What business are allowed and not allowed to do when contributing to a political campaign?
    • Who can donate and how much?
  • Is an election committee needed?
    • When is it needed?
    • How do you set one up?
  • What penalties can your business face for violating any campaign laws?






Grand Rapids






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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