MSU Extension partners to train newly elected local officials

MSU Extension, MAC, MTA and MML partner to offer training opportunities to newly-elected local officials across the state.

Now that the election is over, the real work begins for newly elected local officials. Running the campaign was a great way to get to know people in the community, but to be successful in governance, elected officials must quickly learn the responsibilities of their new jobs. Since there is no training prerequisite to run for office and serve as an elected leader of local government in the state of Michigan, seeking out and enrolling in training programs is paramount during the first year in office.  

There are several membership organizations that provide training for newly elected officials in our state. County commissioners, for example, should enroll in training sponsored by Michigan State University Extension in partnership with Michigan Association of Counties (MAC). There will be six workshops  held throughout the state in November and December, 2012.

MAC and MSU Extension have partnered to provide quality education programs for more than 40 years. MAC has recently launched two online training sessions of interest to newly elected officials. One session will concentrate on the Michigan’s Open Meetings Act and the other on government finance basics. These online trainings are brief and provide a great primer for newly elected officials.  MSUE will also offer pre-conference sessions for the MAC spring conference in March 2013 on running effective meetings and the fundamentals of finance.

 The Michigan Township Association  provides trainings all year for township supervisors, trustees, clerks, treasurers and other township appointed officials. They will be offering a “New Officials Training” as part of their annual convention in January 2013.

The Michigan Municipal League (MML) focuses their support and educational efforts on village and city officials. They will be hosting a newly elected official training in early December and have more programs scheduled in early 2013 geared to the basics of city and village governance.  

MAC, MTA and MML are membership organizations.  All offer on-line training for members that can be taken at any time on a variety of topics throughout the year. MSU Extension’s public policy and local government team offer trainings throughout the state on topics of interest to newly elected local government officials as well.

There are 83 counties, 1242 townships, 278 cities and 256 villages in Michigan. Each of these general purpose governments are mandated and organized according to the state constitution with state laws defining their range of local authority. Elected leaders within their respective units must be knowledgeable about the legal mandates for which they are responsible and understand the varying degrees of freedom they have to pass laws and levy taxes to function effectively and provide the level of service demanded by the public.

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