99th CML Annual Conference

The 99th CML Annual Conference will be held June 22 - 25, 2021 in Snowmass Village.

Conference sessions

The sessions below were the planned sessions for the 98th Annual Conference. We anticipate that some of these sessions will be available during the 2021 Annual Conference.


Schedule: Tuesday, June 23

1 p.m.-5 p.m. 

Registration and CML Work Zone
Need to print documents or materials? Head to the Work Zone, where you'll find computers and a printer. Equipment is for use only by CML conference registrants with badges

2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Preconference Session: Municipal financing and budgeting 101 for elected officials
Elected officials have an obligation to manage taxpayers' resources wisely. Understanding financial reports, budgets, and the associated terminology can be overwhelming, especially for newly-elected officials. This deep-dive session will teach the basics of fund accounting, financial management, and municipal budgeting from the early stages through final adoption, with an emphasis on the elected official's role throughout the process. Advance registration and ticket required. Fee: $45. Purchase by June 12.
Jeff Hansen, Golden finance director

Preconference Session: Recall elections
Hear from a panel of experts who will discuss applicable laws, their experiences in conducting recall elections and lessons learned. Advance registration and ticket required. Fee: $45. Purchase by June 12.
Miranda Fisher, Nederland clerk, Karen Goldman, Colorado Municipal Clerk Advisor Program consultant; Hilary Graham, Hoffmann Parker Wilson Carberry attorney

3 p.m.-4 p.m.

Westminster walking mural tour 
Participants will enjoy a guided tour with Wesminster's open space trails specialist Hans Reichgelt as they take a stroll on the Big Dry Creek National Recreation Trail and view some public art installations. No cost, but advance registration required.

Schedule: Wednesday, June 24

7 a.m.-7:45 a.m.

Morning yoga
Arranged by the City of Westminster
Get your conference experience off to a healthy start! All registered conference attendees and registered guests are invited to refresh and renew with this morning wellness program. Attendees will be required to sign a waiver prior to participation. Registered guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult. No charge, but advance registration required.

7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Everyone in the conference center and all meeting rooms must be registered and badged to enter/attend sessions and events.

CML work zone
Print conference documents/materials. Equipment intended for the exclusive use of CML conference registrants with conference badges.

7:30 a.m.-9 a.m.

Continental breakfast

7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; reopens from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. for welcome reception

Exhibit hall 
Be sure to visit with our subject matter experts in municipal products and services!

8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.

Conference overview and meet the candidates
Plan on attending this important session to get tips on making the most of the conference, meet CML staff, hear from candidates running for the CML executive board, get details on the board election held during Thursday’s annual meeting, get a layout of the conference center where sessions will be held, ask questions, download the conference app, and so much more!

10 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Opening general session: The hero effect: Being your best when it matters the most! 
Sponsored by CIRSA
In a fresh and entertaining style, our keynote speaker Kevin Brown will share ideas, strategies, and principles that will inspire and equip attendees to show up every day and make a positive difference. At the heart of his message is a simple, yet powerful philosophy for life that drives every thought, every action and ultimately every result we achieve both personally and professionally. Teams will be motivated to reach beyond what is required and do something remarkable. Achieve greater results by eliminating "ordinary" thinking and mastering the habit of excellence. Own the moments that matter (and they all matter) by taking responsibility for your attitude, actions and results.
Kevin Brown, author and keynote speaker

11:30 a.m.-12:50 a.m.

Meeting of the minds luncheon
Sponsored by Colorado Retirement Association
Join CML Executive Director Kevin Bommer as he talks with former Speaker of the House and Colorado Chamber of Commerce CEO Chuck Berry. Advance registration and ticket required; no on-site ticket sales. Purchase by Friday, June 12. Cost: $41

1 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

CLE: 2020 legislative update
Co-arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
The CML advocacy team will offer highlights from the 2020 session of the Colorado General Assembly, with a special focus on new legislation that may require immediate action by municipalities.

Best practices for creating a community engagement framework
Arranged by the Planning Officials Section
A community engagement framework is a comprehensive, citywide strategy for managing interactions with the public. Without a framework, community outreach may seem unorganized, inconsistent, or reactionary. Having a framework enables cities and towns to better serve their residents by building trust and relationships, as well as providing an opportunity to manage misinformation. Learn from panelists who are leading the way in comprehensive, strategic approaches to community engagement, and how to coordinate efforts across multiple projects and departments.

Local news as a public good
Arranged by the Public Information Officers Section
With commercial, ad-driven business models for local journalism near collapse in the digital age dominated by Facebook and Google, more Colorado communities are becoming "local news deserts." Research shows that civic impacts abound when local news outlets close or reduce coverage -- the public lacks independent information about important issues, voter turnout lags, local officials have fewer avenues to inform voters and residents, and the perception of reduced government transparency has been linked to higher municipal bond rates and other costs. What strategies exist for local officials to address these issues -- and increase citizen engagement? How can municipalities encourage existing institutions like libraries, public access stations, higher education, and public information departments to expand and modernize their roles in addressing community information needs? How are nonprofit businesses creating new models for public-private partnership in this space? This session will summarize research findings and recommendations from a 2019 report by the Colorado Media Project, which convened national, state, and local leaders in journalism, government, libraries, higher education, technology, and law to study various Colorado public policy pathways for sustaining local news and civic information.

The city manager and fire chief relationship – If not excellence, then what?
This class will engage the audience in a panel discussion on the issues that city managers and fire chiefs face in their relationships and collaborations to create safe cities and jurisdiction. Hear about ways to achieve excellence in providing services and how that impacts other municipal services.

What's new at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) leadership and regional managers will discuss recent developments in funding programs, strategic services provision, and policy initiatives. The basics of DOLA structure and function, how to access resources, and collaborative opportunities with local governments will be addressed.


Exhibitor Showcase Hour
This exclusive one-hour event is an opportunity for conference attendees and registered guests to visit with exhibitors while enjoying some mid-afternoon refreshments. Our conference exhibitors are subject matter experts in municipal products and services and would like to share their knowledge and how they can be of service to your municipality. CML truly appreciates all of our sponsors and thanks them for their support — their participation in the conference makes it extra special for attendees. Visit the Exhibit Area to learn more about our sponsors, and to thank them for being a part of the conference!


CLE: State and municipal authority to regulate firearms
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
How will the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis change the way we think about government authority to regulate the possession and use of firearms? Discussion will include a review of state laws defining the scope of municipal regulatory authority.

Creating a downtown with tax increment finance 
Arranged by Downtown Colorado, Inc.
Redevelopment and renewal programs are a powerful tool for developing parcels, remediating brownfields, and saving historic buildings, but many municipalities are using these tools to create a downtown district in a community that previously had no downtown. DCI will engage with leaders taking initiative to reshape the community around a central gathering space to share the plan for financing, partnerships, and community engagement

Growth: The good, bad and the opportunity
Arranged by the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC)
We are all aware of the growth that is occurring in Colorado, particularly along the front range and in some rural areas. Did you know that Colorado is growing less than we did in the 1990’s? You would not know it by visiting some of Colorado’s communities. Join us in this interactive session as we discuss the good, the bad, and the opportunity as it pertains to growth, and how we, as economic developers, can harness the momentum and turn it into a positive impact for all of Colorado.

Investing your government's funds 
Arranged by the Finance Directors Section
Gain perspective on what is behind investing your government's funds, how to navigate the volatile interest rate environment, and state eligible investments pursuant to CRS 24-75-601, 701.

3:15 p.m.-5:20 p.m. - Extended sessions

Mayors mingle
Extended time! Meet and greet your fellow mayors in this informal setting with a discussion facilitated by CML Executive Director Kevin Bommer.

Mobile tour: Creating sustaining communities at the intersection of business, place, and people
The coordination of place-based, business-based and people-based initiatives is critical to ensuring that communities, and places within communities, thrive over time. The City of Westminster is successfully integrating physical, economic, and social strategies in two focus areas within the city as a strategy to drive healthy, vibrant, and equitable community economic development. This tour presents successful strategies and highlights outcomes in two areas within the city where neighborhood and community building is taking place: Downtown Westminster (site of former 1.2 million square foot regional mall), and Westminster Station (site of city's first rail station). Tour and learn about specific planning, housing, and industry attraction retention strategies necessary to grow and maintain thriving neighborhoods and communities. No cost, but advance registration required; limited seating.

4:20 p.m.-5:20 p.m.

CLE: The 2020 Census and municipal redistricting
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
Many municipalities will be using fresh data from the 2020 census to adjust the boundaries for their council districts or wards. Hear a refresher on the legal principles that govern the redistricting process, and tips for the best approaches to use when redrawing your district or ward maps.

Building community support for affordable housing
Please join us for a discussion on how to communicate an effective affordable housing message. We are called on to promote and defend affordable housing projects, but often audiences are guided by reluctance, NIMBYism, and fear. How can municipal officials talk about housing in a way that generates support and wins friends? What messages are resonating at city council meetings and neighborhood engagements? What stories resonate with wide audiences? This forum will provide communications strategy and examples of successful project messaging. 

Police Chiefs: Co-responders
Details pending

Transportation transformation: Our electric vehicle future
The integration of Colorado's transportation system into the state's electric grid has already begun and will only continue to accelerate, presenting challenges and opportunities for Colorado's cities and towns. Discussion will focus on the future of transportation in Colorado and what municipalities should plan for today so they do not get left behind.


5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

Opening Reception
All registered attendees, including registered guests and sponsors, are invited to attend this great event underwritten by our generous sponsors. Great networking opportunities abound!

Schedule: Thursday, June 25

7 a.m.-8 a.m.

5K fun run/walk
Wake up early, stretch, and join in the 29th Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk. Thanks to the City of Westminster for arranging this event. Advanced registration required. Receive a t-shirt if registered by May 15. Fee: $25

7:30 a.m.-9 a.m.

Continental breakfast

8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Work zone
Print conference materials.Equipment use intended for the exclusive use of CML conference registrants with conference badges.

9 a.m.-10 a.m.

General Session: Protecting your organization from cybercrime
This session focuses on recent trends of online fraud, computer intrusion, and ways that perpetrators steal valuable data from your organization. The presentation includes the details of how hackers commit their crimes and what every employee must do to protect an organization's assets. The audience will learn immediately how password hacking, email phishing, telephone attacks, and social engineering are emerging threats against every entity. Live examples of hacking into information will surprise the audience, while detailed solutions will be displayed on how to stop the threats. Employees can easily modify a few key online habits that will help protect your organization from the next attack.

CLE: Enforcing performance bonds and stand-by letters of credit
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
Get practical advice on crafting and enforcing completion guarantees in construction contracts and development agreements. 

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

CLE: What's new in the world of nicotine and vaping regulation and taxation?
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
Many municipalities in Colorado have already jumped into regulating nicotine projects, with a special emphasis on the newer world of vaping products. But the regulatory landscape at the federal and state level is rapidly changing as well. This session will cover the gamut at all three levels of government, from business licensing to other forms of regulation of nicotine and vaping products to taxation.

Emerging issues
Learn about the late-breaking issues that affect Colorado municipalities. Be ahead of the curve and impress your colleagues with knowledge of prominent emerging issues. More details to come.

Overcoming obstacles in the council-manager-staff relationship
An excellent governing body-manager-staff partnership is critical to a municipality's success. Dysfunction in any of the components can have disastrous consequences. In this scenario-based, participatory session, attendees take a frank look at the most common problems that may be holding this critical partnership back and, with the presenters’ guidance, they’ll tap into attendees’ brilliance to find solutions.

Securing you family's digital life
Co-arranged by the Information Technology Section
This morning’s general session by Michael Bazzell focused on ways to protect an organization from cyberattacks. This session is all about you and your family. It explains the numerous ways that perpetrators steal your personal information and how they benefit from the data obtained. View live demonstrations of how you and your family are likely to be attacked and the easy steps that you can take to prevent becoming a victim. Learn immediately how to properly create and store passwords, completely freeze the entire family's credit accounts (for free), secure your home computers from online threats, and apply better overall defensive behavior in regards to technology in the home. Additionally, learn how most hackers can access personal online accounts with only one attempt and how to stop the intrusion.

The mayor, the manager and the clerk
Arranged by the Municipal Clerks Section
This panel discussion will define the role of the governing body and how to keep it at the 30,000-foot level, and avoid micromanaging. Understand the different perspectives on the council/board and within staff, and hear how to build and maintain a professional relationship.

noon-1:30 p.m.

Thursday Luncheon 
Sponsored by Xcel Energy 
Visit with colleagues at this popular lunch. Advance registration and ticket required. Limited Seating! No on-site sales. Purchase tickets by Friday, June 12. Fee: $41.

1:45 p.m.-3 p.m.

Annual CML Business Meeting
Be sure to have a delegate from your municipality attend this very important annual meeting! Delegates must be present to vote; no proxy voting will be allowed. Ballots and voting cards may be picked up starting at 1:45 p.m., at the site of the business meeting. The collection of ballots and voting cards will end at 2:15 p.m. sharp! The annual business meeting is scheduled to begin promptly at 2:15 p.m. Conference delegates will elect CML Executive Board members, adopt the League’s 2020-2021 Policy Statement, and consider other League business

CLE: When does the enforcement of a municipal ordinance inflict cruel and unusual punishment?
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
What should municipalities be expecting if the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit in the case of Martin v. City of Boise is ultimately adopted by Colorado? Explore the ways enforcement of various types of municipal laws in regard to the behaviors of homeless, transient, or indigent persons may implicate the Eighth Amendment, and what municipalities should be doing to reduce their risk of liability.

Building social infrastructure in public library spaces 
Arranged by the Librarians Section
Public libraries are a key element of social infrastructure, a shared space that allows people to make connections, form networks and find ways to support each other. As society as a whole becomes more divisive, municipalities can turn to their public libraries to provide a physical space where people can come together, heal fragmentation and form collaborations. Join in this discussion of Eric Klinenburgs "Palace for the People" to explore how libraries, parks and other public spaces provide refuge to those who feel excluded and help build a more equal and united community

LEAD: What is it and would it work in my community
Four communities: Denver, Longmont, Pueblo and Alamosa were selected to develop a LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program through assistance from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. Learn more about this national program and the lessons learned from these four very different communities.

Main Street: Small investment, big impact
Is your municipality interested in creating jobs, expanding business opportunities, and increasing tourism while building a sense of culture and community among your residents? This session will showcase creative ways Colorado’s cities and towns are doing just that -- all on a limited budget.

3:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

CLE: The symptoms suggesting that a land use code should be updated
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
Land use codes take on a life of their own after they are adopted. They grow, they change, they experience crises, they are reinvented, and eventually they are repealed and replaced. Todd Messenger, a land use attorney, planner, and code reformer will compress two decades of practical experience in code evaluation, diagnosis, repair, and replacement, and provide multiple perspectives and practical tips for evaluating the health and life stage of your code.

Councilwoman (the movie)
Arranged by Colorado Women in Government
Join Colorado Women in Government (CWIG) for their annual meeting and a screening of Councilwoman, a film that has inspired women of all ages and backgrounds to service.

Clerks annual business meeting 

Introducing municipal fiscal facts
This session introduces Municipal Fiscal Facts (MFF), Colorado's online data and analysis sharing community. MFF was developed by the Colorado Futures Center in collaboration with an advisory group of finance directors. It is designed to share fiscal data -- predominately sales tax- and associated analyses. The session will introduce the concept and take participants through an interactive demonstration of the MFF website.

Organizational redesign and a culture of innovation
As a mission-driven organization with strong values and a high quality of life, the City of Westminster has been a city of choice for individuals, businesses, and visitors for decades. Like many maturing suburbs across America, Westminster finds itself facing future fiscal challenges that threaten its ability to continue to provide the same high level of service. During this time of prosperity, Westminster has invested resources in its future through a commitment to innovation, financial strategy, communication, business process improvement and talent development. In this session, we will discuss this multimillion dollar investment in Westminster's future and share practical tips and lessons learned in encouraging a culture of strategy and innovation.

Using your best tools to drive performance: Your employees
Arranged by the Human Resources Directors Section
Decades of research have proven that when individuals have the opportunity to discover their natural talents and purposely develop them into strengths, the effect on individual and organizational performance is transformational. Discussion will focus on the relationship between strengths and employee engagement and organizational success.

4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

CAST meeting and reception
The Colorado Association of Ski Towns will host its member meeting followed by a reception with cash bar.


Schedule: Friday, June 26

7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.

Continental Breakfast 

NEW! Breakfast for elected officials/MUNIversity Awards: We can make a difference!
Arranged by the Mayors and Councilmembers section
How we, as elected officials, can make a difference enhancing the quality of life by investing in our residents and businesses in addition to addressing regional growth, transportation and affordable housing. Advance registration and ticket required. No on-site sales. Tickets must be ordered by June 12. Fee: $35

8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.


Work Zone
This is your last chance to print conference materials, update your CML login profile, or check your emails before heading home.

8:45 a.m.-10 a.m.

CLE: Handling employment discrimination claims arising under Colorado State Statutes
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credits have been applied for.
Many municipal attorneys are familiar with the legal standards for employment discrimination claims arising under federal laws such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act. But there has been a trend toward providing even greater protections for employees under Colorado anti-discrimination statutes. This session will highlight the increasing differences between federal and state employment laws.

Colorado's climate future
In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly passed sweeping climate change legislation that set aggressive statewide greenhouse gas reduction targets of 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. In order to meet these objectives, the state will have to transform major sectors of its utility and transportation infrastructure and restructure critical areas of its commercial, industrial, residential, and agricultural sectors. Hear about the short-term and long-term regulatory strategies of the state and how it will inevitably affect Colorado's cities and towns. This session will also highlight practical policies that municipalities can implement today that will have a meaningful impact on meeting these critical goals for the future of Colorado's environment and economy.

Opportunities to build and diversify your economy through outdoor recreation
Learn how cities and towns in Colorado's rural and urban corridors are working to diversify their economies through outdoor recreation opportunities.

PFAS: The state’s plan and how local communities are responding
Discoveries of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance contamination in drinking water, wastewater, and ground water are on the rise nationally. Learn from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency about plans to address PFAS contamination and what municipalities can expect. You will also hear from municipalities about how they are responding to PFAS issues within their communities. 

They are doing what in Westminster? Reinventing civic engagement
It is no secret that arts and culture can transform a community. Learn how your CML host city has taken civic engagement to new heights by avoiding government stereotypes and building a series of wildly-inventive cultural initiatives that are being copied by municipalities across North America. Through hilarious and inspiring case studies, participants will gain a better understanding of human behavior; practical insight to effective marketing tools and tactics; and a fresh mentality about government communication and branding -- not to mention new ideas to implement in your own community!

10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

CLE: Conversing on public business via text messaging — Ethical and legal tips for municipal attorneys
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for. Hear about ethical considerations for attorneys when engaging in text messaging and learn how text messaging may be regulated under the Colorado Open Records Act, the Open Meetings Law, and state and local laws governing public records retention and archiving.

Colorado River: Demand management feasibility study 
In 2018, the Colorado Water Conservation Board began the process of developing the state’s position and approach on whether and how to develop any Upper Basin Demand Management Program that could potentially be implemented within Colorado to avoid or mitigate the risk of involuntary compact curtailment on the Colorado River. Hear an update from the Colorado Water Conservation Board on their Colorado River demand management feasibility study

Emerging issue
Learn about the late-breaking issues that affect Colorado municipalities More details in final program

Improving employee health care and controlling costs
Arranged by the Managers Section
This session will present a multiyear benefits strategy that focuses on planning for current and future outcomes. Explore how strong internal collaboration with employees, work groups, and vendors has generated good decisions that result in financially-sustainable plans and quality health care for employees and dependents. Hear about outcomes associated with this strategy, including high employee and dependent engagement with primary care physicians, improved management of chronic conditions, and lower costs for annual renewals (two of the last seven years with no increase).

The state of industrial hemp: A review of the CHAMP initiative and regulations in Colorado
Over the last year, stakeholders from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Governor's Office, Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Revenue, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Department of Public Safety, Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, Department of Higher Education, local governments, and industry experts have come together to participate in the CHAMP initiative, helping to create a comprehensive blueprint of regulations for industrial hemp. This panel will discuss the results of that initiative as well as changes made to cultivation regulations as a result of the new state plan and any changes occurring at the USDA. 

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Attorney luncheon with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser
Arranged by the Attorneys Section. CLE credit has been applied for.
The Attorney General will highlight the major new priorities and initiatives he has launched since taking office last year. Advance registration and ticket required. No on-site sales. Tickets must be purchased by June 12. Fee: $41.

Managers Luncheon
Arranged by the Managers Section.
Advance registration and ticket required. No on-site sales. Ticket must be purchased by June 12. Fee: $41