By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Commissioners attended the 2021 ACCG (Association County Commissioners of Georgia) County Reconnect Conference in Savannah in November.
The conference provides an opportunity for commissioners across the state of Georgia to take a variety of classes.
“Its once a year. A lot of these classes, you can only take at this time. It gets you up to date as far as any changes that have happened in the last year. Laws change all the time. It is critical,” County Executive Ted Rumley said.
Commissioners that attended the conference could choose between Core Certification classes, Specialty Certification classes, and Continuing Education classes, provided in partnership with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
New commissioners are required to go through state mandated training. These classes offered at the conference are optional but recommended.
Core classes include County Government 101, County Government Finance, County Government Law, Human Resources, Ethics, Property Appraisal and Taxation, Economic Development, Public Safety and Health, and Leadership Institute.
Specialty track classes include Citizen Engagement, Economic and Community Development, Revenue and Finance, Leadership Development, Quality of Life and Social Issues, Public Safety, County Operations and Management, and Intergovernmental Relations.
Rumley attended the Constitutional Officers class.
“It’s all about the dos and don’ts for constitutional officers. They could challenge us on anything they want to,” Rumley said.
A constitutional officer is a person holding a position identified as an officer by the constitution and bylaws of the labor organization. This includes a sheriff, superior court clerk, and tax commissioner.
Commissioner Lamar Lowery attended the Civic Engagement class, and the Getting Your Message Out class.
Commissioner Phillip Hartline attended the Parks, Recreation and Active Living class.
Commissioner Robert Goff attended the Navigating L.O.S.T. class, and the Air, Land, and Water: County Challenges and Responsibilities class.
“Most of these classes are dealing with state laws. The bottom line is, they change every legislative session. It gives you an opportunity to go listen to experts. You can get answers to questions and probable questions that might come up. It helps you know what is coming down the pike and how it is going to affect your county. I am the second of only two Advanced Certified Commissioners, aside from former commissioner Ben Brandon, which basically means I have taken enough classes. You have got to stay abreast of what is happening,” Goff said.
Commissioner Melissa C. Bradford attended the Civic Engagement class, and the Core – County Government Law class.
County Public Information Officer Carey Anderson also attended the conference. She attended the Professional Skills Development class, and the Arts, Culture and Tourism class.
“This is a huge event, and this year was probably the biggest one,” County Clerk Don Townsend said. “Not only commissioners, but managers, administrators, clerks, and code enforcement people came.”