2017 Annual Conference

  

IMLA's 82nd Annual Conference

Hilton exterior

October 14, 2017 - October 18, 2017

Hilton Hotel and Suites, Niagara Falls/Fallsview 

Scotiabank Convention Center

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada  

News

   

Conference News  

Conference Hotel:

IMLA's 82nd Annual Conference is in the Scotiabank Convention Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario in October 2017! The conference hotel is the Hilton Hotel and Suites, Niagara Falls/Fallsview. Check back regularly for updated information! The IMLA room block is OPEN! To book a room call 1-866-873-9829 and use the group code IMLA or CLICK HERE to book your room online

Click here to view the dollar exchange information.


Niagara Bound Tours

www.NiagaraBoundTours.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

905-685-5375 

Niagara Bound Tours was established in 2004 by Lezlie Harper. Lezlie started her work career in tourism as a busgirl. Over the years, that interest in tourism never waned. CLICK HERE for more information.

Three tours will be offered on tour days.

If you have contacted them, and have not heard back, please contact Lezlie ASAPThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone- (905)-685-5375. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.


Passports:

Passports: AS OF JUNE 1, 2009: U.S. citizens will be required to present one of the following documents for entry into the United States by land or sea from Canada: US Passport Card or US Passport. CLICK HERE to read more. 

Phones: Don't get hit with international charges! Plan in advance. Below is some information on intentional plans, but be sure to call your cellular provider for information.

  • Verizon Wireless
    • International Travel Plan: $2 per day per device (Mexico and Canada are included without a daily fee on plan sizes 12 GB or larger.)
    • CLICK HERE for more information.
  • AT&T
    • AT&T Passport (valid for 30 days)
      • $40: Unlimited texting, $1.00 talk per minute, 200MB cellular data, unlimited Wi-Fi access at participating hotspots
      • $60: Unlimited texting, $0.50 talk per minute, 300MB cellular data, unlimited Wi-Fi access at participating hotspots
      • $120: Unlimited texting, $0.35 talk per minute, 800MB cellular data, unlimited Wi-Fi access at participating hotspots
  • Sprint
    • Open World (free)
      • Unlimited call
      • Unlimited text
      • 1 GB of high speed data (after that, $30 per GB)
  • T-Mobile
    • Simple Choice Plan
      • Unlimited calls
      • Unlimited texts

Other information:

Schedule

Conference Schedules

View the 82nd Annual Conference Schedule

Click here to view a detailed, PDF version of dates, times, titles, descriptions and speakers.

 

2017 Code Enforcement Program

Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaScotiabank Convention CenterOctober 14 & 15, 2017

The 82nd Annual Conference includes a special two day Code Enforcement Program, October 14 and 15, which is applicable to not only the city attorney and law department but also your code enforcement officials. Click here to view the tentative schedule.

  

Click here to register!!

IMLA's ILGL Program

October 14, 2017

Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaScotiabank Convention Center

The 82nd Annual Conference includes a special Institute for Local Government Lawyers program on October 14, 2017.

The Institute for Local Government Lawyers (ILGL) is a beginners-level program geared towards attorneys new to local government, as well as seasoned attorneys who need a “refresher” in various general topics of local government law. Presenters are law school professors and/or local government lawyers with a vast amount of experience throughout the United States. The presentations will provide a broad overview on a number of topics of interest to local government attorneys and will be in a classroom-type setting.CLICK HERE to view the tentative agenda.

Space is limited register early! Click here to register.

Loopstra Nixon LLP Canada Day

Monday, October 16, 2017

AGENDA (tentative):

CHAIR: Paul DeMelo, Kagan Shastri LLP

Click here to view the tentative schedule. 

IMLA Events

IMLA Events

2017 CONFERENCE WONK TABLES & DESCRIPTIONS

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

IMLA is delighted to offer you an opportunity to network with your colleagues and have direct access to premier vendors and attorneys who concentrate on various areas of municipal law at breakfast! The breakfast will be organized tables by “Topic” and you can enjoy your breakfast together with your colleagues. The WONK Breakfast is planned for Tuesday, October 17th, 7:30 am to 8:45am- in the Exhibit Hall B. The fee for this breakfast is $20 ($25 10/7 - 10/13).

CLICK HERE to pick your tables.

CLICK HERE to register (if you registered on your conference registration form, please DO NOT fill this out)

**Advance registration for the breakfast is REQUIRED**

**A ticket is REQUIRED for entry**

**NO on-site registration will be available**

**Space is limited. First Come, First Served**

  1. Cable Franchise Renewals in the Digital World
  2. Citizen Suits Under Federal Environmental Statutes
  3. The City Attorney’s Report - Seven Habits of Highly Effective City Attorneys
  4. Dangerous Dogs and Reckless Owners
  5. No More Codification
  6. Interacting with Fiscally Distressed Municipalities
  7. Joining the Resilience Movement: Planning for Recovery, Compliance, and the Future
  8. Land Use topics: Reed Update, Preemption, and Judicial Education
  9. Managing FOIA Requests
  10. Sanctuary Jurisdictions and the Supreme Court
  11. "Small”(?) Cell Towers in the Rights of Way
  12. Special Appellate Issues for Public Entities
  13. Stump the Fellows
  14. Supreme Court
  15. Three Racial Gerrymandering and VRA Decisions
  16. What’s Important to Local Leaders When Making ILA Entry and Continuation Decisions

CLICK HERE to pick your tables.

TABLE 1: Cable Franchise Renewals in the Digital World

Cable franchising and renewals present IMLA members with challenges and opportunities concerning franchise fees, PEG funding, and more. Join Best Best & Krieger for breakfast and insights on these and other renewal issues, including franchising in states that have passed state franchising legislation. Compare notes and “lessons learned” with your colleagues on the status of cable franchise renewals in the region and around the country. We’ll spend a large portion of the session addressing your specific questions and concerns, so come prepared!

  • Speaker: Gerard Lavery Lederer, Best Best and Krieger

TABLE 2: Citizen Suits Under Federal Environmental Statutes

As the federal government signals it will loosen regulatory standards, permitting requirements and enforcement under federal environmental statutes it presents a mixed bag of news for municipalities. Environmental groups are poised to use the “citizen suit” provisions of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts as an “end-run” around discretionary enforcement by the USEPA and state agencies in “delegated states.” This program will give participants a chance to discuss key defenses that have been effective in protecting municipalities in Section 505 actions and the type of negotiating tactics that lead to workable consent orders.

  • Speaker: Steven “Tip” Torres, West Group Law PLLC

TABLE 3: The City Attorney’s Report - Seven Habits of Highly Effective City Attorneys

Confirm what you already know you have or find out what you don’t know. Things you need to know about Employment Law – as the in-house lawyer – but didn’t know whom to ask! This is a sharing table where you can listen to the host – or the guests -- discuss what works – or hasn’t for them. Focus will be on the lawyerly “soft skills” needed as we approach the new decade. Discussion topics could include but are certainly not limited to the following:

  • Be a problem solver - don’t bring your client problems – they just make their head hurt!
  • Tips to develop self-direction and self-motivation. 
  • What language are you speaking? Still “speaking legal?” Learn translation skills! 
  • Discover that “cutting to the chase” doesn’t mean running with scissors! 
  • How to get to “get stuck in” your organization….

But wait, there’s more! Commit to lifetime learning by reserving a seat at this table.

  • Speaker: Roberta “Robin” Cross, The Woodlands, TX

TABLE 4: Dangerous Dogs and Reckless Owners

We all want safe and humane communities for both people and pets. Come learn how to achieve that goal through dangerous dog legislation that focuses on the individual behaviors of pets and their owners

  • Speakers: Ledy VanKavage & Lee Greenwood, Best Friends Animal Society

TABLE 5: No More Codification

See how hundreds of attorneys and clerks automatically create ordinances and manage their own code without the lag and expense of traditional codifiers. MCO’s disruptive web software is changing the municipal code landscape!

  • Speaker: Kimball Clark, President, Municipal Code Online

TABLE 6: Interacting with Fiscally Distressed Municipalities

How do municipalities get into financial trouble? How do they react to being in trouble? Can they peel the onion back and honestly deal with their problems? Are some of them hopeless cases? What can or should a state government do to help struggling municipalities? David Unkovic served as a state receiver for the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s state capital, and in private practice he has represented the state as part of consulting teams trying to develop and implement workout plans for various distressed municipalities, large and small. What works? What doesn’t work? Bonus topic: What is the most dysfunctional level of government in the American political system: the federal government? State governments? Local governments?

  • Speaker: Dave Unkovic, McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

TABLE 7: Joining the Resilience Movement: Planning for Recovery, Compliance, and the Future

The latest movement in rebuilding infrastructure is “resiliency.” For years State and Local governments have been in a “reactive” position when it comes to responding to the devastating impacts of natural disasters. Recently, that mindset has shifted toward preemptive efforts, emphasizing mitigation and sustainability when approaching recovery to prevent future loss of life and property. A large component of establishing a successful preemptive plan is understanding the required procurement policies, monitoring and compliance structure necessary for these funds. In extreme circumstances communities may inadvertently disregard the multitude of constraints that accompany federal grant funding. Conversely, some communities are overwhelmed by the required regulatory restrictions, and afraid to use any of the recovery grant funds. In either scenario, the community is at risk of losing the very funding that is pivotal to their future success and growth.

During this roundtable, we will discuss the importance of monitoring and compliance for the types of disaster recovery funding available and managing these complex programs while avoiding pitfalls that could result in a loss of funding.

  • Speaker: Mary Beth Coburn, Best Best and Krieger

TABLE 8: Land Use topics: Reed Update, Preemption, and Judicial Education

  • Speakers: Julian Grant and Susan Trevarthen

TABLE 9: Managing FOIA Requests

  • Speaker: Lawton Langford

TABLE 10: Sanctuary Jurisdictions and the Supreme Court

Throughout 2017, the courts, the federal government, the states and a significant number of municipalities, many of them IMLA members, have been engaged in heated legal battle over whether and how non-citizens may gain entry into the United States and/or stay and to what extent the President has plenary power in this area.

The most recent developments will be discussed.

  • Speaker: Laszlo Pinter, Danbury, CT

TABLE 11: "Small”(?) Cell Towers in the Rights of Way

This issue has been percolating since at least 2014. With the comments all filed in the FCC wireless and wireline proceedings – where are we now and when will the FCC rule on wireless access to our Rights of Way?

  • Speaker: Mike Watza, Kitch Law Firm

TABLE 12: Special Appellate Issues for Public Entities

We will discuss recurring appellate issues for public entities like immunities, mandatory duties, and institutional practices that frequently end up in the appellate courts and the attitude of the courts to those issues.

  • Speaker: Timothy Coates, Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP

TABLE 13: Stump the Fellows

Do you have a legal or managerial question that has managed to stump everyone in your office? Here is your chance to bring your most challenging “head scratchers” to a panel of IMLA Super Wonks for a roundtable discussion. This panel will be comprised of IMLA Fellows who are well-versed in municipal law and the challenges faced by municipal lawyers and are eager to listen to you and offer advice. Bonus points for anybody who can “stump” the Fellows with a difficult question!

  • Speakers: Dan Crean, Crean Municipal Consulting Services, Robert Fugate, Arlington, TX & Brad Neighbor, Garland, TX

TABLE 14: Supreme Court

To say the Supreme Court loves cities is no exaggeration! At this WONK table we will discuss any aspect of Supreme Court litigation that interests participants from the current docket, to the new Justice, to issues of future likely interest to the Court affecting local governments.

  • Speaker: Lisa Soronen, State Services Organization

TABLE 15: Three Racial Gerrymandering and VRA Decisions

Race and Politics: This session will cover pending and recently decided racial gerrymandering cases (Cooper v. Harris, Dickson v. Rucho and North Carolina v. Covington) in which the courts are struggling to arrive at a workable, consistent standard for evaluating the permissible extent to which states and local governments can rely upon racial considerations in evaluating the legality of redistricting plans following the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus decision from the last term. We will also discuss the pending Wisconsin case in which IMLA has filed an amicus brief, wherein the Court may ultimately decide whether partisan gerrymandering cases are justiciable and by what measurable standard. We will be several weeks into the October 2017 term, and the most current filings in several of the cases before SCOTUS will be available.

  • Speaker: Ben Griffith, Griffith Law Firm

TABLE 16: What’s Important to Local Leaders When Making ILA Entry and Continuation Decisions

Smaller/rural communities can often benefit from entering into an ILA. Learn what factors local leaders feel are important to their ILA entry decisions.

  • Speaker: Doug Haney, Corporation Counsel, Carmel, Indiana

CLICK HERE to pick your tables!

CLICK HERE to register (if you registered on your conference registration form, please DO NOT fill this out)

2017 STATE/PROVINCE BREAKFAST

Monday, October 16, 2017

IMLA is delighted to offer you an opportunity to network with colleagues from your state/province!  The breakfast will be organized tables by state/province and you can enjoy your breakfast together with your colleagues. The State/Province Breakfast is planned for Monday, October 16th, 7:00 am – in the Exhibit Hall B. The fee for this breakfast is $20 ($25 10/7 - 10/13).

CLICK HERE to register (if you registered on your conference registration form, please DO NOT fill this out)

**Advance registration for the breakfast is REQUIRED**

**A ticket is REQUIRED for entry**

**NO on-site registration will be available**

**Space is limited. First Come, First Served**

Welcome Reception

Table Rock CentreSunday, October 15, 2017

7:00PM - 10:00PMBusses will begin at 6:30PM

A badge is required for entry

No entry before 7PM will be permitted

Kick off the 82nd Annual Conference in Niagara falls at the Welcome Reception. Enjoy food, drinks and networking!

Also experience the Journey Behind the Falls and Niagara’s Fury attraction!

Journey Behind the Falls:

To stand at the heart of the falls, you’ll first need to descend 150 feet and explore 130-year-old tunnels through the bedrock.

Experience the falls from the observation deck at the foot of the 13-story-tall falls, but don’t forget the viewing portals cut straight through the rock, offering a once-in-a-lifetime view of one-fifth of the world’s fresh water crashing down in front of you.

Niagara's Fury Attraction:

Discover the ancient story of Niagara Falls in 4D and re-live the exciting experience in this 360 degree multi-sensory theater.

Water will bubble and spray as you travel down river, while snow falls all around simulating the last Ice Age. The moving platform beneath your feet will help you understand the power of nature as you’re surrounded by stunning visuals of the mighty Niagara River.

Whirlpool Golf CourseSaturday, October 14, 2017

Golf has been arranged for Saturday, October 14th at the Whirlpool Golf Course, right along the Niagara River.This is an award winning golf course designed by Stanley Thompson and we have arranged for a special rate of $55 CDN to play(includes a round of golf and a cart).CLICK HERE for more information on the course. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in reserving a spot.

IMLA's 2017 Annual World SeriesTuesday, October 17, 2017

The buses will leave the hotel at 6PM

The annual softball game will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at Oakes Park. A bus will pick up the participants at the hotel transport them to Oakes Park Field. At the end of the game, each participant will be dropped off by bus at a local bar, Doc Magilligan's. All participants will receive a free softball jersey and cap. The organizing committee will supply softballs, bats, and drinks. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at Oakes Park. Each participant is encouraged to bring a glove and a jacket or sweatshirt, and must sign standard waiver forms required by IMLA. This is a free event, but bus seats will be given at a first come, first served basis.

CLICK HERE to register.

 

Niagara Bound Tours

www.NiagaraBoundTours.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

905-685-5375 

Niagara Bound Tours was established in 2004 by Lezlie Harper. Lezlie started her work career in tourism as a busgirl. Over the years, that interest in tourism never waned. CLICK HERE for more information.

Three tours will be offered on tour days.

If you are interested in any of these tours, please fill out the registration form, scan and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Click here to view the registration form.

If there are other destinations that you are interested in, please contact Niagara Bound Tours directly by email or telephone- (905)-685-5375.

Morning Runs

LN YI cindy 183 MosaicJoin Cindy Yi on a morning run before the IMLA sessions begin! More information and sign-up will be available soon!  

Cindy is an Associate in the Municipal, Land Use Planning and Development Law Group at Loopstra Nixon LLP, the largest full-service law firm in west Toronto. She represents a broad cross-section of public and private sector clients on a variety of municipal law matters throughout the province. She is an avid fitness enthusiast, and has run several Tough Mudder races, competed in powerlifting competitions, and enjoys long-distance running. She is also currently training for two marathons this year.

 CLICK HERE if you are interested in joining Cindy Yi for a run! Please return the form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Registration

Conference Registration

CLICK HERE to register online!CLICK HERE to download the Conference form. Please email form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  2017ConferenceRegistrationForm002  Click here to register for ILGL Program.Click here to register for the Code Enforcement Program.

Sponsors

2017 Annual Conference Sponsors 

PLATINUM SPONSORS

 

BA logo new 2012 1

Thomson Reuters Logo


 

GOLD SPONSORS

 bbk logo 2017 

CasselsBrock2017GIF 

logo the guarantee

 

GOLD Sponsor KS logo

LN LOGO

 

SK logo 300dpi

 


 

SILVER SPONSORS

 

AB White w Grey BKGD

 

 ALP 640x150

 

 

 

Sponsorship Lerners Logo Bold RGB

 

 

 

Municode 2016

 

SOK Logo final colour 01


 

BRONZE SPONSOR

 

BLG Logo 300 DPI CMYK

GMSR Logo New2

 

Harris Beach logo

 

 

 

Logo CMYK

 

 

Integro Logo Main Spot

 

Linebarger logo 10.5 x 2.5 300 dpi

 

 

McNees 2016

 

 

MT Logo Vertical AvocatsLawyers RGB

 

 

BRONZE sponsor NFT Logo Stack with MCIT URL

 

 weirfoulds

 

West Group Law

 WB Logo in colour zylab  


 

IMLA has a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities as well as customizable ones. If you are interested, please contact Amanda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. At IMLA’s Conferences, we generally get anywhere from 600-800 attendees. 

Exhibitors

2017 Annual Conference Exhibitors

ACSIA Partners logo

AACE Offset for sizes

ALP 640x150 

 

ARCADIS new Logo

 

 

bbk logo 2017

 

Best Friends logo 2016

Cycom for website

DRAGUN

 

e forensic logo from web  Integro Logo Main Spot  

LEGAL EDGE Logo for Media 002

 

 

 

Legal Files Logo

 

 

Linebarger logo 10.5 x 2.5 300 dpi

 

 

 

McNees 2016

 

 

 

Municode 2016

 

 

 

Nautilus2016

Thomson Reuters Logo

West Group Law

 

 

zylab

 

 

The exhibit cost for the conference is $2,750  ($1500 for not for profits). This registration includes set up for two representatives. One individual can have admission to all sessions, event materials, social events and all refreshment breaks. At IMLA'sConferences we generally get anywhere from 600-800 attendees.If interested in exhibiting at the 2017 Annual Conference, please e-mail Julie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hotel/Lodging

Conference Hotel

Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview

6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9, Canada

Tel: 905-354-7887

 

 

IMLA has secured a block of sleeping rooms and a special room rate at the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview, a first class facility, in Ontario, Canada.

In order to secure this block of specially priced sleeping rooms and to keep meeting costs to a minimum, IMLA has entered into a total meeting package and contract with the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview. If you choose to make your sleeping room reservations outside the IMLA group block, such as through an Internet reservation system or with a discount coupon, we need to advise you that IMLA can suffer significant financial penalties. IMLA can be held financially responsible for the attrition or difference between what was promised in the group block and what was actually utilized.

To allow IMLA to continue to provide a reasonable conference registration fee, we need your help in limiting our financial exposure. Please take advantage of the special room rate and block of sleeping rooms we have negotiated and make your reservation.

The IMLA room block is CLOSED! To book a room call 1-866-873-9829 and use the group code IMLA or CLICK HERE to book your room online

CLICK HERE to read the passport and US vistor information

CLICK HERE to read about the hotel amenities 

 

Passports

Passports

PASSPORTS ARE REQUIRED: U.S. citizens will be required to present one of the following documents for entry into the United States by land or sea from Canada:

Please Note: Six Month Validity Passport Rule. As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. Canada now enforces the six month validity rule! CLICK HERE for more information.

1. U.S. Passport Card

  • Cost: $55 - Age 16 and older
  • $40 - Under age 16
  • $30 - For holders of U.S. passport
  • Validity: 10 years - Age 16 and older
  • 5 years - Under age 16
  • Issued by: U.S. Department of State
  • Limitations: Not valid for international air travel

CLICK HERE to read more about the passport card.CLICK HERE to view fees and forms.

2. U.S. Passport

  • $135 - Age 16 and older
  • $105 - Under age 16
  • Validity: 10 years - Age 16 and older
  • 5 years - Under age 16
  • Issued by: U.S. Department of State

Applying for a passport:

  • Where to apply: Must apply in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility (post office, clerk of court, etc.)
  • Processing time:
    • Routine Service: Approximately 4-6 weeks from the time of application, including mailing time.
    • Expedite Service: Approximately 2-3 weeks from the time of application, including mailing time.

Renewing a passport:

  • Where to apply: submit application by mail
  • $110 - Age 16 and older

CLICK HERE to review the forms and fees.

Passport Photos:

"Bad photos are the #1 reason passport applications get held up during the application process"

CLICK HERE to read photo requirements.

CLICK HERE to read more about passport photos.

Transportation

How to Travel While You're in Canada

Airport to Hotel/Hotel to Airport

Your transportation to and from the airport is on your own, however, IMLA is working with Niagara Airbus and AVIS to provide IMLA members with discounted transportation!

Niagara Airbus: www.niagaraairbus.com (enter code 466 at the beginning of the booking)

  • Buffalo Airport (closest to hotel)
    • $97.00CAD- Round trip shuttle
    • $69.00CAD- One way
    • 10% discount on all private exclusive services
  • Toronto
    • $88.00CAD + hst- Round trip
    • $64.00CAD + hst- One way
    • 10% discount on all private exclusive services

Reservations can be made online or by calling the reservation line at 905-374-8111. Any questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The code (466) is valid for travel from October 7 - 25th, 2017.

CLICK HERE for information on booking online. 

AVIS: LINK

Avis Worldwide Discount or AWD number is J867718.

Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-800-331-1600 (Must give the agent the AWD number)

The AWD code is valid seven days prior to the event and seven days after the event. 

More information can be found HERE.

Hotel to Scotiabank Convention Center/Scotiabank Convention Center to Hotel

  • Walk: The Scotiabank Convnetion Center is only two blocks away!
  • Busses (free): Busses to and from the Scotiabank center will be circulating all day.

Hotel to Welcome Reception/Welcome Reception to Hotel

The Welcome Reception will take place at the brink of the falls!

  • Walk: The Welcome Reception is in walking distance of the hotels. Take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery!
  • Busses: Busses will be ciriculating. It will be a short trip (~5 minutes) to the location.