Town of Santee Council receiving Honor Roll recognition
Pictured from left to right: Councilmember John Mark Gilmore, Councilmember Gregory King, Mayor Donnie Hilliard, Municipal Association of SC Field Services Manager Charlie Barrineau, Councilmember Shirley Small and Councilmember Robert Anderson.
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The Santee Town Council has been added to the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government’s Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes annually the city councils that can count all members of their sitting council as graduates of the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s MEO Institute.

Charlie Barrineau, field services manager for the Municipal Association of South Carolina, presented a plaque recognizing the Honor Roll designation to council members at a meeting on May 1. The Association represents all 271 South Carolina cities and towns.

"One of our goals at the Municipal Association is providing training to give our local elected officials the tools they need to govern effectively," said Barrineau during the council presentation. "The Municipal Elected Officials Institute Honor Roll recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of our local elected leaders to further their knowledge of local government to govern more effectively and efficiently."

Other cities with the Honor Roll designation in 2019 are the Town of Blackville, Town of Gray Court, City of Greer, Town of Hollywood, City of Inman, City of Lake City, Town of Pendleton, Town of Summerville, City of Union and the City of Wellford.

Established in 1986, the institute is a program of the Municipal Association that gives municipal officials a strong foundation in the operation of local government. Participants learn about the role of elected officials and administrative staff and the relationships municipal officials have with other local governments, the state and federal government. The Honor Roll was established in 2018 to recognize councils that can count all sitting members as graduates of the MEO Institute.

To graduate, officials participate in more than 25 hours of classroom work. Highlights of topics covered during the sessions include the Freedom of Information Act, ethics and accountability, budgeting, planning and zoning, human resources, and economic development.

The institute draws its faculty from recognized local government leaders in South Carolina and other states, state officials, faculty and staff of the state’s colleges and universities, and other guest lecturers.

In 2013, the Association began offering credited, on-demand courses as part of the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government.

The Advanced Institute, established in 2014, provides elected officials who have graduated from the MEO Institute with an option for continuing education through classroom instruction, interaction with experienced peers and case studies.