Clanton officials attend governance orientation

Published 9:30 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

On Oct. 20, Dr. Jeff Price and Bobby Cook, of Clanton attended a “crash course” in Birmingham on the complexities of administering municipal government.

The Orientation Conference for Elected Officials and Municipal Personnel is presented every four years in various locations throughout the state by the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Approximately 30 to 40 percent of the mayors and council members who will begin four-year terms on Nov. 3 have never held public office before; therefore, the quadrennial orientation conferences for elected officials are extremely important.

Lecturers at the one-day sessions represented the top legal and administrative talent on municipal government in Alabama and covered topics such as: the statutory and administrative requirements during the municipal year ahead; the legal status and powers of municipalities; the office of the mayor; the organizational duties of the council; council meeting procedure; conflicts of interest and ethics; appropriation powers of municipalities; borrowing powers; and budgeting, auditing and fiscal reporting.

The role of the League in municipal government and League special programs were also discussed.

Mayors and council members were encouraged to enroll in the League’s Certified Municipal Official (CMO) Program; which consists of a series of continuing education programs designed for elected municipal officials who voluntarily wish to receive formal training in municipal government.

Officials who complete 40 credit hours of training are awarded the professional designation of Certified Municipal Official.

Those who have already received their CMO designation and complete an additional 40 credit hours of training are awarded the Advanced Certified Municipal Official designation.

Training sessions are conducted several times each year at various sites throughout the state and the basic certification can be completed in as few as two calendar years.

The Alabama League of Municipalities was organized in 1935 and has served that time as the recognized voice of the cities and towns in Alabama.

Through the years, the organization has steadily grown and now serves more than 440 municipalities. This voluntary membership brings officials of cities and towns together in fellowship of public service-which strengthens and guides local government in a progressive, responsible fashion.

The primary purpose of the League is to promote understanding of municipal government and administration in Alabama and thereby advance the welfare of the people of this state.

– from staff reports