Kathryn Cannie from Public Agency Retirement Services leads a Learning Lab workshop on trends in investing, managing and funding retiree health care during the 2018 Annual Meeting & Trade Show.

This year’s MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show will feature 10 Learning Lab exhibitor workshops providing more opportunities to hear from experts on a variety of topics.

The 30-minute Learning Lab sessions will be held in the Auditorium behind the 200 Aisle on Saturday, January 25.


10:30-11 a.m.

Strategies for Addressing Long-Term Pension and OPEB Obligations
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by PARS (Public Agency Retirement Services) (Booth 1114)
Rising pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) costs are becoming significant fiscal issues, particularly with the implementation of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board statements 68 and 75. This session will examine pre-funding strategies to manage these rising future costs by lowering liabilities, reducing costs and maximizing assets. Pre-funding strategies can help to mitigate risks and pension rate volatility, and take advantage of diversified inventing while maintaining local control.

The Value of Integration
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Booth 801)
This session will help municipalities understand the value of integrated medical, pharmacy, dental, vision and other benefits. Integrated benefits can help to lower costs, focus on total member care, improve data analytics to assist with health management, and align the management of pharmacy and medical benefits.

11:10-11:40 a.m.

Dangers of Assessing “Illegal” Occupancy and “Use” – A Municipality’s Potential Liability
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by the Massachusetts Federation of Building Officials (Booth 1109)
This session will address the risk that municipalities take when reassessing properties for use or occupancy without first verifying the legality of the change of use or occupancy. It is common practice to assess and tax properties for their use and occupancy (be it legal or illegal), but municipalities are taking a calculated liability risk if an incident causes a loss of property, personal injury or a death on a property illegally occupied or modified. This session will explain how municipalities can recognize and avoid risk.

Understand Your Liability: Conduct an HR Compliance Self-Evaluation
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by the Collins Center for Public Management (Booth 1826A)
The Collins Center will explain the liabilities and pitfalls of not having best practices in human resources. A self-evaluation form will be provided to attendees, and the process of conducting a self-evaluation will be discussed. This session will also highlight critical compliance issues, such as personnel file administration, pay equity and equal opportunity.

11:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Ready, Set, Placemake!
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by MassDevelopment (Booth 1116)
Communities are seeing the value of reclaiming public streets and spaces for people, especially in city and town centers. Placemaking builds stronger social networks and partnerships by empowering community members to create the spaces they want to see in their neighborhoods, including parklets, pop-up markets and spruced-up versions of existing spaces. This session will include guidance on permitting and liability, and MassDevelopment staff can answer your placemaking questions.

Update on Implementation of Safety and Health Standards for Public Sector Workplaces
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (Booth 701)
Workshop eligible for MIIA Rewards points
The Department of Labor Standards will provide an update on the actions it has taken to implement the law that extends OSHA-level protection to all public sector workplaces. DLS will explain the responsibilities of managers and employees under the OSHA standards, and will offer guidance on where municipal agencies can focus their efforts to keep employees safe and achieve compliance.

12:30-1 p.m.

Recycling is Still Broken: Industry Update
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by Republic Services (Booth 402)
China’s National Sword policy continues to place pressure on municipal recycling programs across the country. This session will present an overview of how National Sword affects our recycling programs and what actions are being taken. It will also provide recommendations for making your program more durable.

Using a Low-Cost, High-Tech Way to Manage Your Roads
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by Green International Affiliates (Booth 1033)
This session will explain a cost-effective approach to pavement management and how municipalities can effectively and efficiently allocate their limited funds while improving the service life and quality of the road system. The presentation will demonstrate how the artificial intelligence/machine learning method obtains information and uses it to create a spending plan for the municipality. The presentation will also include feedback from two communities using the Green International approach.

1:10-1:40 p.m.

PFAS Found! Now What?
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by Woodard & Curran (Booth 802)
PFAS contamination has been making headlines, and not just in industry publications. In the absence of a federal standard, Massachusetts and other states are struggling with how to address PFAS in the environment, and municipalities are at a loss for what to do once the contaminant is found. This session will present a brief history of PFAS, its public perception, and options available to municipal leaders and elected officials if these “forever chemicals” are found in your drinking water supply.

Become a Better Borrower: Municipal Bond Basics
Location: End of the 200 Aisle
Presented by K|P Law (Booth 1027)
This session will provide an overview of the municipal bond issuance process from authorization to sale, including a general understanding of the borrowing authorization process; the importance of proper due diligence and disclosure; the parties involved with the sale of bonds, including the role of bond counsel; and post issuance compliance.