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Member Relations Corner: For municipal officials, an opportunity to learn about roles 

by League Assistant Director of Business Management and Membership Development Services Rob Shepherd

Every two years, following the municipal election cycle, the UNC School of Government and the North Carolina League of Municipalities jointly hold a two-day workshop called the Essentials of Municipal Government in five locations across the state. The Essentials workshop is for newly elected officials, veteran elected officials and their managers.

It represents not only a great opportunity to learn more about the roles of municipal officials, what municipalities do and how they do it, but also a chance for entire governing boards to spend time together and to network with other municipal elected officials from your region and from across the state.

The first day of the Essentials includes two options: one is for newly elected officials to learn what municipalities do and how they do it, along with the roles and responsibilities of municipal governing boards and their staff, and while geared for newly elected officials, entire boards and their managers may wish to attend this session together; a second option is a "LeaderShop" for veteran elected officials, open to both county and municipal veteran elected officials and their managers.

This year’s topic for "Leadershop" is about leading change. Last year, the League and the NC Association of County Commissioners undertook strategic visioning projects which included interviews with their members, legislators, and other partners, as well as collected data about the issues and challenges facing North Carolina cities and counties. With major economic, social and political forces reshaping our state, it’s important for local elected officials to be prepared to lead their communities. As a steward of the public trust, it is the job of elected officials to think strategically and help citizens plan for the future. Recognizing that many of the challenges facing local governments are too complex for any one jurisdiction to solve, municipal and county veteran elected officials are invited to attend this workshop to learn about what these trends can mean for your community and how to develop strategies for leading change.

Also included on the first day of the Essentials workshop is state ethics training which satisfies a two-hour mandated requirement for local elected officials. For those who are only interested in the state ethics training, there will be other opportunities to obtain this training either online, beginning in May 2016, or during the League’s annual conference in October.

Day Two of the workshop will focus on working together as a board, municipal finances and Budgetopolis, which is a municipal budget simulation. The entire municipal governing body is encouraged to attend for the second day to become better informed about how to work together for the good of the community.

Dates and locations for the Essentials of Municipal Government are as follows:

  • Hickory Convention Center, January 8-9
  • Chapel Hill Sheraton, January 20-21
  • Sunset Beach, Sea Trail Resort, February 9-10
  • Asheville DoubleTree by Hilton, February 17-18
  • Greenville Convention Center, March 4-5

For more information on the Essentials of Municipal Government Workshops, click here.