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Newly Elected Officials Course Kicks Off Nov. 21

The 2015 Newly Elected Officials Course kicks off Saturday, Nov. 21, in Pittsburgh. This course helps newly elected officials transition to they’re  governing roles.

The Newly Elected Officials Course (NEOC) is held following every local general election. It is a one-of-a kind course, unique in Pennsylvania for its scope and content. More than 1,000 individuals have attended the Newly Elected Officials Course in its more than 30 years of existence, and the course has been distinguished as a recipient of the League of Women Voters Good Government Award.

NEOC provides a comprehensive overview of the duties of municipal officials, taught by experts in the field, including:

  • Depth and Breadth: More than 45 hours of instruction by experienced practitioners from government, business and academia.
  • Independence: Local Government Academy is nonprofit and nonpartisan, and engages in no lobbying.
  • Practicality: Focused more on policy-making than politics, the course builds knowledge and skills for decision-making.
  • Relationship Building: Elected officials who complete the Newly Elected Officials Course form a network of peers and experts that they draw upon throughout their terms.
  • Accessibility: In addition to a variety of registration options, scholarships are available to participants from fiscally distressed communities.

The following is a quick course overview. You can find exact dates for each course in our Course Catalog on LGAonline.

Understanding the extent and limitations of municipal power: The effect which government form and structure have on decision making and administration. Also, rights and responsibilities under the Sunshine Act will be covered.

Techniques and procedures for running an effective meeting: Agenda setting, meeting management and properly and effectively involving the public in the governmental process.

Municipal Finances: Standards for a “good” budget, sources of revenue, control over expenditures, financing capital improvements, and what questions to ask to determine the municipality’s financial positions.

Personnel Law: This critical area covers the many laws that guide how personnel are hired, managed and fired, as well as how to develop a quality workforce.

Police & Public Safety: Understanding the police function and control over the police department; selection, training and promotion and discipline of police officers; the civil service law governing cities, boroughs and townships; examining the relationship between the elected board and the fire department and models of paid, volunteer and combination companies; municipal officials and legal responsibilities.

Infrastructure: What elected officials need to know about streets, water, wastewater and storm water management; maintaining systems; and the impact of development on the need for water, sewage and streets.

Municipal Planning, Zoning and Development: Understanding the functions of the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board, their relationship with elected officials, and areas of responsibility; problems caused by the lack of proper zoning; and managing the impact of development.

Strategic Planning and Leadership: Long range planning techniques, becoming an effective leader, to lead or to manage – the relationship between elected officials and professional staff.

Remember, LGA offers course discounts to officials from fiscally distressed communities. Click here for a list communities eligible for the Michael P. Lynch Scholarship Fund.

Click here to preregister for NEOC. You are under no obligation to take he course should you be unsuccessful in your bid for office.