Things looked a little different in 2021 for the annual training that the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and GMA present to help newly elected municipal officials learn more about municipal government.
With covid-19 pandemic ongoing, two organizations decided to live-stream the event on March 29-31 from GMA’s new headquarters in Downtown Atlanta, allowing city officials to safely participate from home. Presenters came to the GMA office one-by-one and all staff followed CDC safety guidelines.
Approximately 120 newly elected officials took part in the training. The three-day training included topics on staff and employee relations; legal foundation; ethics; resources for municipal services, meeting management, elected officials’ roles and responsibilities with personnel; land use; and, new this year, Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Introduction to Transportation and Public Works. GMA President Vince Williams, mayor of Union City, provided remarks and tips on being a successful city official. A simulated council meeting was also presented. More than 60% of the participants said the training exceeded their expectations, and 100%
said it met or exceeded their expectations. “Thank you for an excellent program last month. I was dreading the long days sitting in front of my laptop, but the time went by without notice,” said Sky Valley Councilmember Tony Allred. “The topics were pertinent and well developed.”
This story originally appeared in the May/June 2021 edition of Georgia’s Cities magazine.