This time of year LGA welcomes a new class of participants to the Newly Elected Officials Course. It is an exciting time: meeting individuals who care so much about their community that they decided to run for office; learning about the most recent issues and concerns in the region; working with experts to develop the most up-to-date and relevant programs. Invariably, this time is also accompanied by the questions “Do I really need to take the full course?” or “What are the minimum attendance requirements?”
These questions are always a surprise, because we know the benefits the Newly Elected Officials Course has provided to past participants. It is an excellent reminder of the duty LGA has to demonstrate the relevance and importance of the program. After all, people involved in their communities are busy people. We all know the saying about how to get things done-- get a busy person to do it. As citizens, we all benefit when “busy people” get involved and busy people want to manage their time. The course must provide them benefits.
So to the busy community-minded people who have won the vote, we offer this: Let us help by cutting your learning curve in half and improving your performance as an elected official. This is what investing some time upfront, by taking the whole Newly Elected Officials Course, can do for you. Save time by expanding your abilities in core responsibilities:
- Powers and Duties of local officials
- Public Sector Budgeting and Finance
- Public Sector Human Resource Management
- Public Safety
- Infrastructure and Public Works
- Intergovernmental Cooperation
- Communications and Conflict Resolution
When we start a new endeavor, we don’t know what we don’t know. Serving in public office is no different. Candidates have political opinions and are well informed about the views of the voters who just elected them. Each has personal expertise and life-experience. These are definite strengths. To serve the public, those strengths must be built upon by filling knowledge gaps and raising questions that will come up in public service but aren’t necessarily apparent in the campaign.
Opening Day starts this Saturday, November 19, 2011 at the Pittsburgh Marriot City Center—just across the street from the Consol Energy Center. The day will provide an introduction to the class and also an opportunity for you to meet fellow winners of the most recent election. If you are unsure about the benefits of the Newly Elected Officials Course, come to Opening Day and then decide if it’s for you. Walk-ins are welcome and you may register for the full course until January 12, 2012. More information about the Newly Elected Officials Course is available on our website.
Serving in public office is a unique experience and having being elected is an honor and a trust. Take time to invest in your own leadership development. The benefits to you and your community will exceed your expenditure of time. I look forward to meeting you on November 19!
Executive Director, Local Government Academy