Councilmember Josh Stephenson (download high-res version)
Councilmember Josh Stephenson from the City of Belton graduated from the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government. Graduates received their certificates during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's Hometown Legislative Action Day in February.
Established in 1986, the institute is a program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina that gives municipal officials a strong foundation for operating local governments. Participants learn about the role of elected officials as well as administrative staff. They also learn about the relationships between local, state and federal levels of government. The institute includes two daylong sessions and three morning sessions. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute offered the courses on a virtual platform.
"For more than 30 years, the Municipal Association has encouraged local elected officials to participate in the institute, whether they are newly elected or have served for a while," said Urica Floyd, staff associate for distance learning of the Municipal Association. "The institute gives elected leaders with diverse personal and professional backgrounds an understanding of how to run a local government effectively."
Elected officials must participate in more than 25 hours of classroom work to graduate from the institute. The topics covered during the sessions include the SC 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, as well as other guest lecturers. The institute also offers credited online courses on an ongoing basis.
The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government is one of many educational and training opportunities that the Municipal Association offers for the elected officials and staff serving cities and towns. Learn more at www.masc.sc (keyword: education and training).