Gadsden’s Back receives designation as municipal official


Councilman Kent Back of Gadsden has earned the Alabama League of Municipalities’ professional designation of Advanced Certified Municipal Official. In order to achieve this high honor, a municipal official must first complete 40 credit hours of training conducted or endorsed by the League to receive the designation of Certified Municipal Official (CMO). The individual must then complete an additional 40 hours of training to receive an advanced certification.

Back is a member of the 25th graduating class of Advanced Certified Municipal Officials and was recognized for his accomplishments during graduation ceremonies held in Orange Beach, Ala., on November 8, 2023. This year, 35 municipal leaders earned the Advanced CMO designation.

The training program for elected municipal officials was created in 1994 by the Alabama League of Municipalities, under the direction of its executive committee, to complete the cycle of training for municipal officials and employees. Until that time, no formal training had been offered for elected officials. The executive committee instituted a series of one-day continuing education programs designed for mayors and council members who voluntarily wished to receive formal training in municipal government. In 1998, the executive committee approved a series of training courses to be applied toward advanced certification. These courses were designed to carry the designation of Certified Municipal Official one step further by offering additional training for elected officials.

Because of his attendance at statewide and regional educational conferences, Back has received formal classroom training in many subjects.

Those subjects include council meeting procedures, parliamentary procedure, the Open Meetings Act, public records, ordinance drafting, conflicts of interest, the state ethics law, duties of the mayor and council, tort liability, the competitive bid law, zoning and planning, annexation, municipal regulatory powers, municipal revenues and expenditures, personnel actions and leadership development.

“Alabama’s municipalities are the foundation of our state’s economy,” ALM Executive Director Greg Cochran said. “Vibrant communities depend on knowledgeable and engaged leadership, which is exactly what the CMO program encourages through training on the finer points of municipal government. Earning the Advanced Certified Municipal Official designation further showcases the commitment of community leaders to be better informed, more effective municipal officials.”

The Alabama League of Municipalities was organized in 1935 and has since served as the recognized voice of the cities and towns in Alabama. Through the years, the organization has steadily grown and now serves more than 450 municipalities. This voluntary membership program brings officials of cities and towns together in fellowship of public service–which strengthens and guides local government in a progressive, responsible fashion. The primary purpose of the League is to promote understanding of municipal government and administration in Alabama and thereby advance the welfare of the people of the state.

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