Campus News Georgia Impact

UGA training prepares newly elected city leaders to govern effectively

Athens, Ga. – More than 250 new mayors and city council members were officially welcomed to Athens and the University of Georgia Feb. 25 by UGA Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. The local officials are attending the two-day Newly Elected Municipal Officials Institute, presented by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Georgia Municipal Association.

The new officeholders learned about their roles in effective municipal governance by attending the training program at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Specially designed courses helped these recently elected local government leaders enhance their understanding of city government, especially as it relates to their roles and responsibilities.

Institute faculty members, joined by GMA officers and staff and experienced city administrators, provided hands-on training in critical topics like city finance and budgeting, public safety, municipal land-use issues and successful meeting management. The training is designed to help mayors and city council members who recently took office make a successful transition from campaigning to efficient governing, according to Laura Meadows, director of the Institute of Government.

“The Newly Elected Municipal Officials Institute introduces incoming municipal leaders to the critical functions of government and their roles as elected officials. The better they understand their jobs and responsibilities, the more effectively they can serve their communities and constituents,” Meadows said.

By attending the Newly Elected Municipal Officials Institute, new mayors and council members satisfy the statutory requirement for training in municipal administration and operations. In addition, they earn six hours of credit toward a professional development certificate through the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute, an in-depth training program provided by GMA and the Institute of Government.

The new officeholders also have the opportunity to connect with peers from large and small cities throughout Georgia, according to Mara Register, leadership development program director with the Institute of Government.

The Newly Elected Municipal Officials Institute also will be presented March 11-12 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government provides training, offers technical assistance and conducts applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and effectively and provide improved service to the public.