Twenty-two cities and towns across the state have been recognized as honorees on 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.
Cities and towns with the Honor Roll designation in 2019 are the Town of Blackville, Town of Calhoun Falls, City of Cayce, Town of Cheraw, Town of Gray Court, City of Greer, City of Hardeeville, Town of Hollywood, City of Inman, Town of Jonesville, City of Lake City, Town of Moncks Corner, City of Newberry, Town of Pendleton, Town of Pinewood, Town of Prosperity, Town of Santee, Town of Summerville, City of Union, City of Walterboro, City of Wellford and the City of Woodruff. The Honor Roll was established in 2018 to recognize councils that can count all sitting members as graduates of the MEO Institute.
"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 Eric Budds, interim executive director of the Association. "The Municipal Elected Officials Institute Honor Roll recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of our elected leaders to further their knowledge of local government to govern more effectively and efficiently."
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.
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 also offers credited, on-demand courses.
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.
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.