Etowah County Commissioner Carolyn Parker has joined a select group of second-term commissioners in a brand new statewide program designed to grow new county leaders in the State of Alabama.
Parker and colleagues from 15 other counties began an 18-month program directed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama specifically focusing on practical and service-oriented skills that will translate to effective local community leadership. Called the Practical Leadership Action Network, or PLAN, the initiative kicked off with a day-long meeting in Montgomery and will conclude in August 2016.
“At the county level, commissioners must provide leadership and vision for their communities. Our program will help us nurture and expand leadership skills that will be used by the commissioners well into the future,” said ACCA President and Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood. “Each commissioner is to be commended for investing the time and energy that this program will demand. We are extremely proud of this group.”
During the next 18 months, class members will focus on some of the specialized functions of county government, be actively involved in the association’s affiliate organizations and its governing boards, enhance their leadership skills during instructional sessions and visit outstanding local government operations in other counties. Class members will also gain additional hands-on experience advocating for the best interests of county government in Montgomery and Washington, D.C.
“Compared to just a decade ago, Alabama counties are stronger and better equipped to serve the citizens that depend on their services,” said Sonny Brasfield, ACCA executive director. “Because Alabama will never be stronger than its weakest county government, every citizen has an interest in seeing our entire state improve. This program is just part of our association’s efforts to move our state forward.”
Participation is restricted to commissioners entering their second-term of office in November of 2014.
Each commissioner is also required to have the completed the Level I program of the Alabama Local Government Training Institute. This program, mandated by state law, is composed of 50 hours of specialized courses about county government operations in Alabama.
The Association of County Commissions of Alabama is a statewide organization speaking for all 67 counties with one voice. It promotes improved county government services in Alabama, offers educational programs for county officials and their staff members, administers insurance programs for county governments and employees, offers legal advice, and represents the interests of county government before state and federal organizations and agencies.