Candidates who win election to a city or town council for the first time demonstrate that they have mastered the task of running for office. Leading the city, however, can require an entirely different kind of knowledge.
Newly elected public officials need to know how to work with their fellow councilmembers and for their residents. This includes conducting meetings correctly and effectively. They also need to know how to comply with the laws governing public service, and may not have any familiarity with state laws like the SC Freedom of Information Act and the SC Ethics Act.
For this reason, the Municipal Association created a Newly Elected Officials Orientation training last year with the title "You've Been Elected, Now What?"
The training has benefits beyond just the education opportunity, according to Urica Floyd, manager for the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government.
"This is a great opportunity for newly elected officials to begin networking with other towns across the state, and with peers who are going through the same experiences," she said.
The officials who participate in this training receive an overview of the basics of serving their municipality as an elected official, giving them a first look at the issues addressed in the Municipal Association's Handbook for Municipal Officials in South Carolina. They also learn many of the ways the Municipal Association can help them: advocacy, outreach, education and training, collection services, and risk management.
Officials who want to start their credited education can do so on Wednesday, February 6 with MEO Session A, followed by the Newly Elected Officials Orientation training one month later on Wednesday, March 6.
Floyd added that that "many of these officials, if they stay on track, will also graduate from the MEO Institute together in February 2020 during that year's Hometown Legislative Action Day."
The Newly Elected Officials Orientation will take place Wednesday, March 6, at the Municipal Association's office in Columbia. Learn more and register online. For more information about the training, contact Urica Floyd at 803.354.4754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.