The interruption of in-person meetings in 2020 as a pandemic precaution has not stopped online training opportunities from the Municipal Association. The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers online, on-demand courses. Registrations for these online opportunities have increased since COVID-19 disruptions began.
One of these courses, "The Five Basics of Effective Governing," is a free session. It helps officials in their first few months in office make the transition from running a campaign to leading a municipality. "This course is one that really helps give newly elected officials get a jump start in their position," Urica Floyd, staff associate for distance learning, said.
These are the five credited courses which count toward MEO graduation:
- "Basic Budgeting and Municipal Finance," covers the budgeting process from preparation to implementation and monitoring.
- "Forms of Municipal Government," explains the roles of councilmembers, mayors and managers/administrators.
- "Freedom of Information Act in SC," introduces this critical state law for governmental accountability.
- "Municipal Governance and Policy," explores the source of municipal authority in state law.
- "Municipal Economic Development," examines the strategies and methods cities and towns can use to attract new businesses and grow existing ones.
Beyond the on-demand courses, the MEO Institute has moved some other courses online as well. The Institute will host sessions A and B virtually on January 19. Session A addresses the city as an employer, conducting public meetings, goal setting as well as planning and zoning. Session B examines business licenses tax administration, ethics, intergovernmental relations liability of municipalities and their elected officials. On January 21, the Institute will host "Advanced Budgeting and Finance" and "Advanced Leadership and Governance" virtually.