Lawrence city officials will hobnob with their peers this weekend in Wichita and help set the agenda for the League of Kansas Municipalities, a powerful lobbying and resource group for cities.
Dozens of roundtable discussions on hot issues dogging Kansas cities are set for the annual meeting of the league, which will run from Sunday through Tuesday.
The meeting also serves as a good time to slap backs with officials in other cities and compare notes on sticky issues, Lawrence City Commissioner John Nalbandian said.
"These really are more to get to know people and find out what other people are doing in their cities," Nalbandian said. "It won't be at all unnatural to have people talking about backflow protection devices or golf courses."
Set to attend the meeting with Nalbandian are Commissoner Bob Walters, Assistant City Manager Rod Bremby, City Planning Director Price Banks, Lawrence Fire Chief Jim McSwain, City Management Assistant Tammy Bannister, and Jerry Cooley, city attorney.
League officials expect more than 10,000 city officials to attend this year. More than 9,000 registered by Thursday.
Some city employees will take an active role in the workshops. Bremby will lead a discussion of "total quality management," a style of management that brings all employees into the decision-making process.
Bannister, the city's Americans With Disabilities Act coordinator, will serve on a panel discussing the ADA. Other workshop topics include "Innovations in Treating Water and Wastewater" and "Back Injury Prevention Techniques."
The primary purpose of the league is to help local governments manage their cities effectively. Its services range from suggesting a good dog leash law to convincing state legislators to grant local governments the power to raise taxes.
Delegates from the city's represented also will hash over and vote on the league's legislative goals for the year.
"I think that the legislative reviews that the league does are of utmost importance. They do a very good job listening to the commmunities," Walters said.