State Mandated Training for Municipal Elected Officials
Newly Elected Officials Institute
This day and a half course provides a general overview of the function
of municipal government in Georgia and the roles and responsibilities of mayors
and councilmembers. The course includes an introduction to key issues such as
ethics, municipal finance, planning and zoning, open meetings, open records,
and parliamentary procedures. All municipal elected officials taking office
since July 1, 1990 are required by state law to complete the Newly Elected
Required Courses for Municipal Training Institute Certificates
Economic Development (six hour
This course provides a basic overview of the economic development
process, with a focus on the strategies, resources and programs employed by the
state of Georgia to assist communities in achieving success in today's global
economy. Topics such as community development building blocks, business
development strategies, regional cooperation, and the role of local leadership
in economic development are covered.
Emergency Management (six hour
This course is aimed at providing municipal officials with a general
understanding of the roles of local, state and federal government in responding
to and helping communities recover from both natural and man-made disasters.
The function of local emergency management agencies and important legal and
financial issues that arise during times of emergency and disaster are also
Ethics (six hour course)
This course examines the importance of ethical conduct in the
administration of one's public duties and how ethical lapses can severely
damage the reputation of both individual officeholders and the city. An
overview of state ethics laws and regulations that apply to municipal
officials, including campaign financing and private interest disclosure requirements,
is provided. Ethical dilemmas that often confront public officials and the
value of strong local ethics ordinances are also discussed.
Human Resources I (six hour
This course provides an overview of state and federal personnel law that apply to municipal governments and the basics of human resource management. Key topics include day-to-day issues facing human resource staff, the role of the personnel manager, establishing and adhering to sound personnel policies and procedures, and dealing with the media. This class is also available as an online course.
Municipal Finance I (six hour
This course is intended to serve as a basic primer on municipal finance
issues that all mayors and councilmembers should understand. Included in this
general overview is a discussion of the budget process, the revenue sources
available to cities, purchasing policies, and financing capital improvements.
Municipal Law (six hour
This course reviews the sources and limitations of authority granted to
municipal governments by the federal and state constitutions, as well as
statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress and Georgia General Assembly. The role
and function of the municipal charter is also discussed. Other key topics
covered during this course include municipal contracts, annexation, legal
aspects of boards and authorities, and the personal liability of public
Open Meetings (three hour
This course familiarizes municipal
officials with Georgia's open meetings law and the potential consequences for
failing to adhere to it. Hypothetical scenarios are used to give participants a
better understanding of their responsibilities and obligations for complying
with these statutes.
Open Records (three hour
This course familiarizes municipal officials with Georgia's open records
law and the potential consequences for failing to adhere to it. Hypothetical
scenarios are used to give participants a better understanding of their
responsibilities and obligations for complying with these statutes.
Practices for Successful Meetings -formerly
Managing Meetings and Parliamentary Procedures (three hour
of a city is often gauged by how its city council meetings are perceived by the
citizens. This course is designed to give elected officials and others a
practical understanding of the most commonly-used procedures available to
govern meetings. The basic tenants of Robert’s Rules of Order, as well as
alternatives to Robert’s, are taught in a manner that seeks to arm presiding
officials with the tools necessary to run successful and productive gatherings
of their elected officials and other meetings necessary to operate their
Planning and Zoning (six hour
This course examines the difficult choices municipal officials encounter
in stimulating economic well-being, protecting public infrastructure
investment, and maintaining environmental integrity. It examines legal
considerations for planning and zoning, the role of the mayor and council, and
practical steps for maintaining a comprehensive plan and effective zoning
procedures. In addition, the course highlights issues, barriers and policy
solutions associated with efforts to achieve desirable patterns of development.
Public Policy Development and Implementation (three hour course)
Developing policy to advance the vision of the city is the most important activity that a mayor and council perform. This course is designed to give municipal officials an understanding of the importance of that function and the role of the elected officials and professional staff in developing, implementing and evaluating those policies. Participants will learn how to effectively use policy-making models in the development of practical public policy that will benefit their communities and constituents.
Public Problems, Democratic
Decisions - The Governing Role of Mayors and Councilmembers (six hour course)
This course helps public officials explore the democratic context of leading and governing. It addresses the role of elected officials in a democratic society, the relationship between elected and appointed officials, the core values underlying public problems and choices, and the reasons why councils can make better choices than individuals. The goals of this course are to help public officials better understand their roles in leading and governing their communities, to develop a better understanding of what councils do and why, and to develop practical skills in public problem solving and decision making. Participants will learn how to use public problems to discuss the kind of community they want to build, and how to ensure that their choices and decisions preserve the fundamental goals of our democratic society.
Roles and Responsibilities of
Council and Staff -formerly Council - Staff Relationships (three hour course)
are complex organizations that face different issues and problems than private
sector organizations. While elected officials have the responsibility to
develop policies to effectively address these issues and problems, they
typically must rely on public sector employees to implement them. In this
class, the different perspectives of council and staff are explored in order to
identify ways for them to collaborate in addressing public problems.
Taxation 101 - The Basics (six hour
This course gives municipal officials a broad understanding of the
fundamentals of local government taxation, including property tax, occupation
tax, hotel-motel tax, sales and use tax, and alcohol beverage excise tax.
Participants will gain an understanding of tax language and appropriate usage
of revenues, preparing them to communicate tax issues to constituents and make
prudent decisions related to expenditures.