First-time County Commissioners are required to attend 50 hours (five 10-hour courses) of training during their first two years in office per Code of Alabama 1975, Section 11-3-40 (as amended). Training is provided by the Alabama Local Government Training Institute (ALGTI) in conjunction with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA). The program’s goal is to develop high standards of public service among county commissioners by increasing knowledge of their roles and responsibilities, providing information for policy making, and improving the overall administration of county services.
Commissioners Mack Daugherty and Bart Mercer have completed the training program this year and were given certificates of achievement during the awards portion of the ACCA Annual Conference last week. Since Commissioner Mercer took office on December 26, 2016 (after his appointment by previous Governor, Robert Bentley), he was approved to complete an additional elective in place of a course he missed in November. Commissioner Kenny Holt and Chairman Troy Stubbs were unable to attend all classes in the first year due to previous commitments but have already enrolled in upcoming course offerings.
Mandated courses include “County Government and the Commissioner” which provides information on the immediate needs and requirements of the newly elected county commissioner including roles and responsibilities of commissioners, statutory requirements of the Commission, structure of county government, legal liability, and roles of county constitutional officers. The second course is “Ethical and Legal Issues” providing ethical and legal requirements affecting the Commissioner including open meeting law, freedom of information requirements, conflict of interest, the ethics law and standards of ethical conduct. Course 3 “Financial Administration” provides an understanding of both the revenue source and expenditure obligations of county government in Alabama, and an overview of the budgetary process. “Roads and Bridges” is the forth course and focuses on the issue of public works policies and practices. To complete the Commissioner Education Level I Program, Commissioners must also take an elective ranging in topics from open meetings and media, personnel administration, liability of the County Commission, etc.
Commissioners may also complete a Level II Graduate Program that requires an additional 70 hours beyond the mandatory 50 hours taken in the Level I program. Twenty graduate hours can be from approved conference attendance hours. Commissioner Mercer has already expressed an interest in continuing to take additional courses required for the graduate program. To better serve the citizens of Elmore County, the new commissioners continue to familiarize themselves on the role of county government through available educational opportunities.
Commissioner Bart Mercer is presented a certificate of achievement for completing ALGTI Level I Program. Commissioner Mack Daugherty was unable to attend the ACCA Conference, but the Commission accepted the certificate on his behalf.