At the annual ACCG Lifelong Learning Academy, Commissioner Elaine Lucas earned her statewide Certification as a County Commissioner after completing all the necessary courses. Her fellow Commissioners recognized her accomplishment at their May 6 Meeting. Commissioner Lucas is the first female Macon-Bibb County Commissioner to earn her Certification, and only the third to earn the title since consolidation in January 2014.
“As a lifelong educator, I believe we should always find ways to learn about our jobs and better ways to conduct business,” says Commissioner Lucas. “There’s always more we can learn, and the more we learn, the better able we are to serve our community.”
She joins 11 other former and current elected Commissioners who have earned the title, including: Joe Allen, Gary Bechtel, Charles W. Bishop, Bert Bivins, the late Lonzy Edwards, Sam Hart, Sr., Larry Justice, Tommy Olmstead, Robert Reichert, Elmo Richardson, and Al Tillman.
To earn the Certification, a Commissioner must complete the following courses offered through ACCG and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government: County Government 101, County Government Finance, County Government Law, Economic Development, Ethics, Human Resources, Leadership Institute, Property Appraisal & Taxation, and Public Health & Safety. These nine courses cover 66 hours of instruction and are offered at a variety of conferences throughout the year.
About the Lifelong Learning Academy
For more than two decades ACCG and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, have collaborated to offer supplemental training and educational tools in the Lifelong Learning Academy. With abundant courses to choose from, every county official has a tailor-made learning experience that allows them to excel in specific areas of expertise.
“Counties in Georgia face a constantly evolving set of challenges which elected and appointed officials must address in order to lead effectively,” stated Dave Wills, ACCG’s Executive Director. “The Lifelong Learning Academy was created to help county officials expand their skillset, equipping them to address the challenges they face and to take advantage of opportunities to improve their respective communities. I commend leaders such as Commissioner Lucas, who understand the value of continuing their education, taking the initiative to engage in the Lifelong Learning Academy, which is truly a program of excellence.”
The Lifelong Learning Academy was created with input from county commissioners who identified courses based on the issues and decision-making challenges regularly faced by county officials. To ensure the course requirements and curriculum remain relevant and engaging, the ACCG Lifelong Learning Committee – comprised of county commissioners and staff from both ACCG and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia – meet regularly to review and adjust accordingly. Through this collaborative approach, the Lifelong Learning Academy has been successful in equipping county officials with the necessary skills to meet the needs of their constituents.
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) is Georgia’s county association and works on behalf of county officials and their communities by providing public policy and legislative advocacy, leadership development, civic and community engagement initiatives, insurance and retirement programs that specialize in local government needs and other cost-saving programs. Formed in 1914 when county officials came together to help fund the state’s first highway department, ACCG today serves as a catalyst for advancing Georgia’s counties. For more information, go to www.accg.org.