Top 10 Primer
This series of short webinars provides essential tips, tools, and definitions to help local elected leaders take on their leadership responsibilities. Each 75-minute webinar introduces a specific topic or tool and explores the top ten things that elected leaders need to know about that topic. Each webinar is conducted as a live remote class, recorded, and then uploaded here as an on-demand offering. There is no charge for these on-demand offerings, however you will need to register. Once registered, your recording will be sent in your confirmation email. Explore the topics below by clicking to access the free on-demand webinars.
Top 10 Primer: Seeking Diversity: How Do We Do It Today? (July 15, 2022)
The comfortable patterns of our daily lives can lull us into believing we have a good handle on what others think about current community challenges. In this short course local elected officials map their daily interactions with others and learn how to broaden their nets of input into public issues.
Local government elected officials will assess the extent to which the diversity in their lives aligns with the diversity in their communities, consider how social changes related to civic engagement affect their efforts to seek diverse public participation, and devise concrete strategies for increasing diversity in civic engagement.
Top 10 Primer: Managing Conflicts on Elected Boards: A Roundtable Discussion by Local Elected Officials (March 18, 2022)
In this Top 10 Primer on Managing Conflicts on Elected Boards: A Roundtable Discussion by Local Elected Officials, SOG Faculty expert John B. Stephens will moderate a discussion among municipal and county alumni of the SOG’s Advanced Leadership Corps. Stephens’ fields of expertise include public dispute resolution, mediation and facilitation. He is co-author of Reaching for Higher Ground: Tools for Powerful Groups.
Top 10 Primer: Transportation Planning in North Carolina (January 21, 2022)
To many local officials the State’s planning processes for building our paved infrastructure can seem like a true enigma. The NC Department of Transportation provides opportunities for local input through a network of planning organizations across the state; these organizations provide local governments a way to provide input into comprehensive plans for our State-administered highway system.
In this Top 10 Primer, participants will learn about the Department of Transportation structure, funding, and planning processes. The roles of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Rural Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) will be explained and anticipated future statewide transportation needs will be explored.
Top 10 Primer: Employment Law for Local Elected Officials (August 6, 2021)
Local elected officials play important roles in the employment of our public workforce. They establish the local government’s personnel policies, they develop pay and benefit plans, they sometimes may even serve in “supervisor-like” roles, depending on the organizational framework of their unit of government.
As an elected official, you do not need to be experts in these areas but you need to be sufficiently aware of the applicable laws to know how to ask the right questions of the right people at the right time. In this class, you will gain a basic understanding of the employment laws that apply to local governments. You will become more conversant with the employment issues that affect our local government workforce and explore the role of the elected body in assuring that the laws are being followed
Top 10 Primer: Social Media Use for Local Elected Officials (May 13, 2022)
Do Facebook and Twitter have appropriate places in the world of local elected officials? What are the Upsides? What are the Downsides? What is public? What is private? How does your use of social media change once the campaign is over and you start governing? The answer to all these questions can be complicated when the people you communicate with live next door, see you in the grocery store, or know where you have lunch every day.
The rules and practicalities of social media use for local elected officials can be confusing and confounding. In this 75-minute class you’ll learn about some good and bad practices we can help you manage, and improve your awareness of some of the murky areas around free speech and consequences that we are monitoring.
To view the recording from May, click here.
Top 10 Primer: Financial Responsibility of Local Elected Officials Webinar (April 30, 2021)
Adoption of the county or municipal budget is one of the most important responsibilities of an elected board. Understanding the local government budget development process can be challenging, especially for officials in their first terms of office. This webinar, led by faculty members Greg Allison and Bill Rivenbark, will help elected officials learn the “Top Ten” most important factors to know and understand as you enter the fiscal year budget development season, including understanding your roles and responsibilities related to the arena of local government finance.
Top 10 Primer: What Local Elected Officials Need to Know About Public Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services in North Carolina (November 13, 2020)
According to the National Institute for Mental Illness, almost 20% of the US adult population suffers from a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. For the adolescent ages of 13-18, that number rises to almost 50%. Individuals and family members in need of help often call on their local elected officials when they are searching for help, and in this area of need, they’re often just looking for a door – a local place where they can walk in and get help. Where are these doors in your communities?
An important role for local elected officials is to simply know enough about how the publicly funded system is structured to be able to respond when someone asks you for help. You want to know how your town or county agencies can and do often affect outcomes for people with mental health needs. These issues affect the quality of life in your communities, and often, the doors people find are to your Police Department, the emergency room at the hospital, the homeless shelter, or even the public school nurse, in the case of adolescents.
Top 10 Primer: What Local Elected Officials Need to Know about Public Health and Social Services (October 9, 2020)
Being an effective local elected official requires a basic understanding of what your local government agencies do. The public health and social services agencies are two public agencies that are touch points for many of the people in your communities. Their services include connecting people to jobs, immunizing children, inspecting restaurants, and making sure your drinking water is safe. They protect both young and old from abuse and neglect; they engage a multitude of community volunteers in advisory boards and committees who penetrate deeply into the fabric of your towns, counties, and regions.
In this on-line program, faculty members Aimee Wall and Jill Moore will provide an overview of the legal framework for social services and public health agencies in North Carolina and highlight the various organizational models available to provide the required services across our state. For counties, the programs are mandates; for municipalities, they represent the front lines of many of the communities’ most challenging issues. Applicable laws provide a range of options in the oversight and management of these agencies.