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Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute Class Listing

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Newly Elected Officials Institute
6 Credit Hours
State Mandated
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
The Newly Elected Officials Institute provides a general overview of the function of municipal government in Georgia and the roles and responsibilities of mayors and councilmembers. The class 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 Officials Institute.

Beyond the Beltway: Influencing Federal Policy through Grassroots Engagement
3 Credit Hours
This class provides information about Congress, federal agencies and how municipal officials can engage most effectively with leaders at the federal level to advocate for municipal priorities. Participants obtain tips for communicating with members of Congress and engage in role playing exercises to hone their negotiating skills. Participants also hear firsthand from members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation and/or key Congressional legislative staff about why it’s so important for city officials to stay in touch with federal leaders.

Building a Hometown Connection: GMA Lobbying 101
6 Credit Hours
This class provides an overview of the state legislative process and helps city officials understand how they can be effective advocates of issues important to their community and cities throughout the state. Participants receive ideas for establishing productive year-round relationships with members of the General Assembly as well as practical lobbying tips they can use during the legislative session. The class also includes a hands-on exercise using real-life legislative scenarios.

Changing Demographics and Best Practices
3 Credit Hours
Georgia’s demographics are constantly shifting, impacting cities. Georgia’s population is getting older and increasingly representing the cultures of many nationalities and many interests. This class examines the cultural and aging trends in Georgia and explores the implications of these changing demographics for cities, both in terms of challenges and opportunities. Time is allocated for representatives from communities that have been significantly impacted by these trends to share their insights and suggestions.

Civics for Local Government
3 Credit Hours
This class provides important information on the proper protocol in the display of the American flag and other flags in government buildings; appropriate recognition of the American flag when entering a room; and the proper programming of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem into city-sponsored events and other civic programs. The class also discusses the basic protocol for welcoming foreign visitors and other dignitaries. The class includes activities to make the learning meaningful for participants. Knowing what to do, why and First Amendment implications is important to our cities and our citizens.

Community and Media Relations
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class examines the importance of building effective working relationships with the media and the role the media plays in informing the public and shaping their opinion of municipal governments. Advice for repairing poor relationships is provided, along with insights on when and how to speak with reporters, especially during times of crisis.

Conflict Resolution
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class explores strategies and techniques for successfully resolving conflict through negotiation and mediation. Emphasis is placed on identifying the sources of conflict and the personality styles of the parties involved.

Creating a Downtown Renaissance: Advanced DDA Training
6 Credit Hours
This class builds on the Basic Downtown Development Authority training class with an emphasis on applying downtown development tools. The importance of developing a downtown vision and a plan are discussed. Attendees also hear the basics of navigating Business Improvement Districts, Community Improvement Districts, Tax Allocation Districts, Historic Preservation Tax Credits, the Redevelopment Powers Act and Urban Redevelopment Law. Best practice examples of utilizing federal, state and local partnerships, programs and incentives are shared. Class participants are given an opportunity to immediately apply the tools and programs highlighted in the classes through a case study exercise. Basic Downtown Development Authority training is a pre-requisite.

Critical Issues Classes
3 or 6 Credit Hours
On occasion, special training classes are offered that address an important municipal issue or concern. These classes may be offered more than once.

Downtown Development Authority Basic Training
6 Credit Hours
This class is primarily directed at those who serve on Downtown Development Authorities, but is open to all city officials. Topics include: management of downtown as a valuable resource; the role of the authority, board members and staff; DDA laws; and the day-to-day operations of a Downtown Development Authority.

Economic Development
6 Credit Hours
This class 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.

Economics of Education
3 Credit Hours
This class provides specific and tangible evidence that education is vitally important to a community’s prosperity. The class reinforces the critical role of businesses and the entire community in building a strong workforce and positive economic climate through improved education. Data will be presented indicating where Georgia stands in its ability to raise the bar on student achievement. Additionally, the class will present the correlation between a quality education and a community’s ability to attract good-paying jobs and enhance its quality of life. Participants also learn where to find school performance indicators for their community.

Effective Practices for Municipal Operations 101
3 Credit Hours
This class targets municipal elected officials from small communities and newly elected officials and exposes them to various fundamental principles for having a professionally managed city. The class examines basic management strategies and analyzes tools and processes needed to create an organizational climate of excellence for the effective delivery of municipal services. In addition, the class identifies emerging issues and other challenges that can impede effective municipal operations.

Emergency Management
6 Credit Hours
This class 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 discussed.

Employee Benefits 101 (Retirement)
3 Credit Hours
This class targets municipal elected officials and staff. It provides a general overview of retirement plans that cities can offer to employees and explains the differences between various plan types, such as defined benefit, defined contribution and deferred compensation plans and how these plans function and are administered.

Ethics
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class 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.

Excellence in Customer Service
3 Credit Hours
This class provides important information for elected officials and staff relating to the proper role that customer service plays in local government. Participants will explore ways to move from average customer service to excellent customer service. Participants examine internal policies and procedures that hamper and support customer service at its best. The class instructor guides officials in defining and communicating the customer service organizational culture of their respective cities.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services
6 Credit Hours
This class exposes city officials to some of the basic concepts involved in providing municipal fire suppression, fire prevention and emergency medical services. In addition to reviewing applicable laws and codes, the class covers emerging issues and new technologies.

Governing the Commons: Collective Decision Making in Complex Systems
6 Credit Hours
New Class
Making decisions within a single jurisdiction is complicated enough, but relatively simple compared to the complexity of decisions multiple jurisdictions must often make among themselves. In this class, participants explore first-hand some of the critical leadership challenges involved in collective decision making, such as how should such decisions be made? what form should they take? how should they be governed, monitored and enforced? and how should costs and benefits be allocated?

Housing Solutions for Cities — Mobile Workshop
6 Credit Hours
This class provides officials with information about housing needs and issues, as well as programs and resources available to assist communities in the area of housing. The class format is a combination of classroom and mobile workshop. The mobile workshop highlights one or more successful local housing development(s) and provides participants the opportunity to see first-hand how some of the resources and programs described during the classroom session have been utilized.

How Shall We Live? Practical Ethics for Public Life
6 Credit Hours
New Class
Ethics is often seen as something that is lacking in public officials, and therefore must be imposed on them through laws and training. Ethics training may promote awareness and compliance, but it does not promote ethical excellence. In this class, participants explore the advantages and limitations of codified ethics; how values, morality, virtue, character, and obligations play out in everyday decision making; why ethical dilemmas arise and how we resolve them; virtues and temptations of leadership; and how public service constitutes a moral and ethical enterprise for public leaders.

Human Resources I
6 Credit Hours
Available Online
This class 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.

Human Resources II
6 Credit Hours
This class focuses on areas of human resource management such as performance appraisal systems; recruiting, interviewing, hiring and retaining staff; employee benefits; and employee training. The class builds on information provided in Human Resources I, but it is not a prerequisite for Human Resources II.

6 Credit Hours
This class familiarizes municipal officials with the basic concepts of law enforcement. In addition to reviewing applicable laws, funding mechanisms and staffing models, the class addresses emerging public safety issues, trends and innovations.

Let’s Get Social
3 Credit Hours
Technology impacts personal lives, work and local government. This class examines and defines what social media means, how social media can be used by local government, including the risks and benefits of such usage. The legal basis for governmental use of social media is reviewed. Demonstrations on making social media user friendly for both large and small governments are provided. Finally, the class helps participants determine the social media applications that matter most to their organization, navigate the set-up process for key applications, create meaningful content and engage their audience across different sites.

Local Government Debt Methods 101
3 Credit Hours
This class targets municipal elected officials and staff and exposes them to various fundamental methods of issuing debt in Georgia. The class examines the history of public debt in Georgia, basic public finance principles, legal requirements and prohibitions, and various financing methods needed to effectively budget for capital improvement projects.

Making Citizen Engagement Work in our Communities
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class explores the importance of getting citizens engaged in the process of governance. The class exposes officials to the concept of deliberative forums, a method of citizen engagement that brings diverse community interests together to explore policy options and share insights, ideas and suggestions in a structured setting. Participants will receive tips, tools and other resources for recruiting citizens, creating productive conversations, and encouraging citizens to be involved in local problem solving.

Managing Growth: Economic and Natural Resource Issues
6 Credit Hours
This class shows city leaders how they can exert meaningful control over how their community grows. Topics include economic and ecological considerations, protecting water quality, regulatory initiatives and regionalization. Promoting infill development and redevelopment, preserving land and capturing private investment are also covered.

Mobile Workshops
3 or 6 Credit Hours
Mobile workshops give participants an opportunity to see first-hand how a community has addressed an issue, concern or opportunity.

Money, Money, Money … Money!: Funding City Projects and Programs Through Grants and Loans
6 Credit Hours
With limited ability to generate increased revenues from taxes and user fees, city officials often seek grant and low-interest loan opportunities to help address a range of capital improvement and operational needs. This class details some of the state, federal and foundation funding sources available to municipalities in Georgia and offers advice on how to write strong grant applications. Additionally, the class provides an introduction to some reporting and administrative responsibilities the city may have once funding has been awarded.

Multi-day Economic Development Class
12 Credit Hours
This class is conducted by the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Participants must be nominated and attend four days of training over a four-month period. Team projects are required. For information on this class, please contact the Department of Community Affairs. Participants receive 12 hours of credit through the Municipal Training Institute for successfully completing this class.

Municipal Courts Post-Ferguson: Promoting Justice, Protecting City Assets
3 Credit Hours
New Class
This class provides an orientation on the basic operation of municipal courts with respect to the adjudication and enforcement of traffic offenses, certain misdemeanors and municipal ordinance violations. While providing a basic introduction to municipal courts, this class also delves into the responsibilities and requirements elected officials need to know to ensure their municipal courts are providing proper constitutional protections to members of the public in the court. Specifically, this class looks at the role of municipal courts, law enforcement, and municipal elected officials in the justice system in light of recent monumental and precedential legal issues that have arisen throughout the country. Additionally, this class analyzes the responsibilities of the court, contracted parties, and elected officials under Georgia law, with a focus on criminal justice reform changes enacted by the Georgia legislature. This class includes some of the material from the old Municipal Courts class.

Municipal Electric Systems 101
3 Credit Hours
This class is open only to officials from the 52 Georgia cities that own and operate public power systems. Electric utilities are multi-million dollar enterprises and it is essential that policymakers and key staff have a strong understanding of all aspects of the service—including generation, transmission and distribution—as well as sound financial and management practices. In addition to providing a basic overview of municipal electric system operations, the class is designed to help attendees understand the role of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Electric Cities of Georgia and the services and resources each organization provides to participating systems.

Municipal Finance I
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class 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 Finance II
6 Credit Hours
This class emphasizes the importance of establishing sound financial policies and provides participants with a better understanding of how to read and understand audited city financial statements, assess the effectiveness of internal accounting controls and manage a city’s cash and investments. This class may be taken before or after Municipal Finance I.

Municipal Gas Systems 101
3 Credit Hours
This class is open only to officials from the 84 Georgia cities that own and operate a municipal gas system. In addition to providing a basic overview of municipal gas system operations, the class is designed to help attendees understand the role of the GMA Gas Section and Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia and the services and resources provided to participating systems. The class also informs and educates municipal officials on the continued safe and efficient operation of the natural gas system. It is important that key officials become aware of state and federal regulations and the issues of an aging infrastructure.

Municipal Law
6 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class 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 class include municipal contracts, annexation, legal aspects of boards and authorities and the personal liability of public officials.

Municipal Taxation 101 - The Basics
3 Credit Hours
New Class
The class gives municipal officials a broad understanding of the fundamentals of local government taxation with an in-depth look at the two primary funding sources for local government in Georgia: property tax and sales 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. This class includes information from the old 6 hour Taxation 101-The Basics class.

Municipal Taxation 102 – The Basics Continued
3 Credit Hours
The class gives municipal officials a broad understanding of local government taxation with an in-depth look at excise taxes related to alcohol, lodging, rental vehicles and energy used in manufacturing, as well as business occupation tax (formerly known as business licenses). Participants will gain an understanding of tax language and appropriate use of revenues, preparing them to communicate tax issues to constituents and make prudent decisions related to expenditures. This class includes information from the old 6 hour Taxation 101-The Basics class.

Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems
3 Credit Hours
New Class
Water and wastewater services are fundamental to the operation of a city. This class provides an overview of the management of these services and introduces participants to the important role of water in community health, quality of life and economic development. This class also describes various service delivery methods and discusses the challenges and opportunities that municipal officials face in providing water and wastewater services to their customers.

Open Meetings
3 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class 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
3 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
This class 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.

Planning and Zoning
6 Credit Hours
This class 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 class highlights issues, barriers and policy solutions associated with efforts to achieve desirable patterns of development.

Practices for Successful Meetings
3 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
The success of a city is often gauged by how its residents perceive city council meetings. This class 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 cities.

Public Policy Development and Implementation
3 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
Developing policy to advance the vision of the city is one of the most important duties that a mayor and council perform. This class 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 learn how to effectively use policy-making models in the development of practical public policy that will benefit their communities and constituents.

Public Presentations and Meet the Media
6 Credit Hours
This class teaches municipal officials how to be more effective when speaking to groups or addressing the media. Techniques for developing presentation content and delivery, as well as tips for more effectively dealing with the media, are shared. As part of the class, participants make a brief presentation to their fellow classmates.

Public Problems, Democratic Decisions - The Governing Role of Mayors and Councilmembers
6 Credit Hours
Public officials will 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 class 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 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.

Public Works and Transportation
3 Credit Hours
Public works services, including transportation, are fundamental to the operation of a city. This session introduces participants to the types of services provided through public works departments and the important role those services play in community health, quality of life and economic development.

Recreation and Parks – Building Communities
3 Credit Hours
Recreation and park programs and facilities play an important role in creating a high quality of life for communities. They create public value by offering recreational activities, green-space for relaxation and opportunities for improving the health of residents. However, recreation and park programs are sometimes seen as amenities that cities cannot afford. This session explores the role of recreation and parks in building community and economic development, and options for funding.

Regional Approaches to Cooperation
6 Credit Hours
Municipal governments face many challenges today in delivering services to their citizens with resources that continue to diminish. These challenges have provided new opportunities for cities to work across jurisdictional boundaries to effectively support community and economic development efforts, as well as many other local projects and programs. This cooperation can be accomplished through informal and formal agreements, and partnerships may extend to public, non-profit and private sector entities. This class examines the concept of regional cooperation, tools for implementation, opportunities to explore best practices around the state and strategies for establishing successful regional partnerships.

Retreats
Up to 12 Credit Hours
Retreats provide an opportunity for city councils to come together, apart from the regular meetings, to prepare for the future. The focus may be on teamwork, goal setting, or other city concerns. Each retreat is tailored to meet the individual city’s needs. Credit is given for city council retreats facilitated by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Some cities have an annual retreat, but credit toward the Municipal Training Institute certificate program is given for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

Revitalizing Neighborhoods – Tools for Local Officials
6 Credit Hours
This class provides an overview of the tools and resources available to cities interested in effectively responding to neighborhood problems such as dilapidated and unsafe structures, unsightly property, junk automobiles, weeds, trash and other nuisances. Topics include Georgia’s Urban Redevelopment law, code enforcement and land bank authorities.

Risk and Insurance 101
3 Credit Hours
This interactive class provides an introduction to the concepts of risk management and insurance as they relate to municipalities. The class focuses on real world best practices involving risk avoidance, reduction and transfer through purchasing insurance, safety training, claims mitigation and implementation of proper policies and procedures. The participant will leave with a better understanding of ways to save money, provide for a safer environment and techniques to avoid many of the pitfalls that put your city and staff at risk. Subject matter experts will present this information through interactive classroom instruction and group problem solving sessions.

Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute
6 Credit Hours
This class is an intensive multi-day event that focuses on helping city officials enhance and sharpen their leadership skills. Enrollment is limited so that participants can have a full exchange of ideas with instructors and other municipal officials. Completion of the Municipal Leadership Institute is required for municipal elected officials to receive a Certificate of Excellence, Certificate of Distinction and Certificate of Dedication.

Roles and Responsibilities of Council and Staff
3 Credit Hours
Recommended for Newly Elected and First-Term Officials
While municipal elected officials have the responsibility to develop policies to effectively address complex issues and problems that are often unique to cities, 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.

Water Management — An Introduction for Local Governments
6 Credit Hours
Water quality and water quantity are of vital importance and can provide some of the most challenging issues facing all levels of government in Georgia. Planning to meet water needs on the local level while also considering the needs of those who share the resource can be difficult. In 2011, in response to the Georgia State-wide Water Management Plan, Regional Water Plans were adopted throughout the State that provided recommendations to help address water quality and quantity issues at myriad levels, across myriad sectors. This class provides background on that process, presents issues highlighted in the plans and discusses ways in which local governments can secure their water future. It also includes an overview of the regulatory processes related to water management and water planning.

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