Newly-elected council members receive ‘crash course’

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Oct. 31 Mayor Jason Reeves and newly-elected council members Dejerilyn King Henderson, Greg Meeks and Marcus Paramore attended a “crash course” in Montgomery on the complexities of administering municipal government.

The Orientation Conference for Elected Officials and Municipal Personnel is presented every four years in various locations throughout the state by the Alabama League of Municipalities. Approximately 30 percent of the mayors and councilmembers who will begin four-year terms on November 5 have never held public office; therefore, the quadrennial orientation conferences are extremely important.

Speakers at the one-day sessions represented the top legal and administrative authorities on municipal government in Alabama and covered topics such as: the legal status and powers of municipalities; the office of the mayor; council meeting procedure; the organizational duties of the council; conflicts of interest and ethics; appropriation powers of municipalities; borrowing powers; and budgeting, auditing and fiscal reporting. The role of the Alabama League of Municipalities in local government and League special programs were also discussed.

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Mayors and councilmembers were encouraged to enroll in the League’s Certified Municipal Official (CMO) Program, which consists of a series of continuing education programs designed for elected municipal officials who voluntarily wish to receive formal training in municipal government. Officials who complete the 40 credit hours of training are awarded the professional designation of Certified Municipal Official. With an additional 40 credit hours, participants earn the Advanced Certified Municipal Official designation. Training opportunities are available throughout the year, and the basic certification can be completed in as few as two calendar years.

Organized in 1935, the Alabama League of Municipalities has repeatedly demonstrated that the unified voices and collective actions of dedicated municipal officials are a compelling force in articulating the concerns, solving the problems and achieving the goals of its member municipalities. For more than 75 years, the League has served as the recognized voice of Alabama’s cities and towns. Through the years, the League has grown steadily and now serves more than 440 member municipalities. The League works to secure enactment of legislation which will enable all cities and towns to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively; conducts continuing studies and of the legislative, administrative and operational needs, problems and functions of Alabama’s municipal governments; holds conferences and meetings at which views and experiences of officials may be exchanged; and encourages in the people of Alabama an understanding and appreciation of the duties, responsibilities and rights of both municipal government and the citizen.

For more about the League, visit