Friday, January 28, 2011

County Government 101 Training at AMC

The conclusion of AMC's training for newly elected commissioners included a tour of Minnesota's State Capitol.  Designed by Cass Gilbert and modeled after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, the unsupported marble dome is the second largest in the world, after Saint Peter's.  This photo shows the Star of the North on the floor of the rotunda; the dome is under repair for water damage.
The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) sponsored a 2-day training for newly elected County Commissioners this week in St. Paul.  As anticipated, the training was excellent and included sessions on Strategic Leadership, duties of a County Commissioner, Open Meeting Law & Parliamentary Procedure, County Government Structure, County Finances, Ethics in Government and the Legislative Process.  The presenters were excellent, all of them with experience in their areas of expertise and most of them still serving as County Commissioners, County Administrators or County Coordinators.

If you go to the AMC website, you will learn that "The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) is a voluntary, non-partisan statewide organization that has assisted the state’s 87 counties in providing effective county governance to the people of Minnesota since 1909.  The association works closely with the legislative and administrative branches of government in seeing that legislation and policies favorable to counties are enacted.   AMC also provides educational programs, training, research and communications for county officials."  I thought one Cook County Department Head expressed it perfectly today when she said, "AMC is us!" 

AMC also provides an excellent way to share ideas and collaborate with County Commissioners from other counties.  Counties working together can achieve more than a single county can do on its own.  I appreciated the opportunity to meet with AMC's Executive Director Jeff Spartz, AMC Board Members, AMC Staff and Policy Analysts, Presenters & Trainers from other Counties, and all the other newly elected County Commissioners.

I found this training to be inspiring.  As evidenced by the non-stop conversation in the room, there was a lot of passion, hope and eagerness from the newly elected.  And, it's good to know that our County Board can find support from AMC and the other 86 counties as we face common challenges.