Blount commissioners selected for leadership program

District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong and District 3 Commissioner Dean Calvert have been tapped for a new statewide program designed to develop county leaders in Alabama. A total of 19 commissioners will participate.

The 18-month program is directed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA). Called the Practical Leadership Action Network (PLAN), it focuses on practical skills that will translate into effective community leadership. The program began last week with a day-long meeting in Montgomery and will conclude in August 2016.

During the next 18 months, class members will focus on specialized functions of county government, be actively involved with ACCA’s affiliate organizations and governing board, visit outstanding government operations in other counties, and gain experience advocating for county government interests in Montgomery and Washington, D.C.

The program is designed for commissioners who entered their second term of office in November 2014. Each participant is required to have completed the Level 1 program of the Alabama Local Govern-ment Training Institute (50 hours of course work on county government operations in Alabama).

Armstrong said he is looking forward to learning how other counties deal with functions they all share in common but may handle differently. He said that each participating commissioner is assigned certain areas of county endeavor as a special focus. His two assigned areas, he said, are the operation of county engineering offices statewide, and the work of the insurance carrier that insures all county activities under the auspices of the ACCA.

“I hope we can learn ways to operate more efficiently through this program and make better use of taxpayers’ money,” Armstrong said.“I also hope I might be able to offer to the group some things we’re doing in Blount County that might help other counties.”

Calvert was out of town and unavailable to comment on the program.