Contributed by Alabama
League of Municipalities
Councilwoman Patricia A. “Patsy” Jones of Opelika has earned the professional designation of Emeritus Certified Municipal Official. In order to achieve this high honor, a municipal official must first complete 40 credit hours of training conducted or endorsed by the Alabama League of Municipalities to receive the designation of Certified Municipal Official (CMO). The individual must then complete an additional 40 hours of training to receive the designation of Advanced Certified Municipal Official. Those who have both their CMO and Advanced CMO designations have the opportunity to obtain the Certified Municipal Official Emeritus designation. The CMO Emeritus is awarded to those who complete a minimum of 120 credit hours of Continuing CMO Education plus 15 points. Jones is a member of the sixth graduating class of Certified Municipal Emeriti and was recognized for her accomplishments during graduation ceremonies held in Montgomery, Alabama, on Oct. 29, 2020. She is the first elected official from the city of Opelika to complete all three designations. Currently, only 24 elected municipal officials have completed the requirements for the CMO Emeritus designation.
The training program for elected municipal officials was created in 1994 by the Alabama League of Municipalities, under the direction of its Executive Committee, to complete the cycle of training for municipal officials and employees. Until that time, no formal training had been offered for elected officials. The Executive Committee instituted a series of one-day continuing education programs designed for mayors and council-members who voluntarily wish to receive formal training in municipal government.
Because of her attendance at statewide and regional educational conferences, Councilwoman Patricia A. “Patsy” Jones has received formal classroom training in subjects such as council meeting procedures, parliamentary procedure, the Open Meetings Act, public records, ordinance drafting, conflicts of interest, the State Ethics Law, duties of the mayor and council, tort liability, the competitive bid law, zoning and planning, annexation, municipal regulatory powers, municipal revenues and expenditures, personnel actions and leadership development.
“Alabama’s municipalities are the foundation of our state’s economy,” said ALM Executive Director Greg Cochran. “Vibrant communities depend on knowledgeable, engaged leadership-which is exactly what the CMO program encourages through training on the finer points of municipal government. Earning the Certified Municipal Official designation further showcases the commitment of community leaders to better informed, more effective officials.”
The Alabama League of Municipalities was organized in 1935 and has since served as the recognized voice of the cities and towns in Alabama. Through the years, the organization has steadily grown and now serves more than 440 municipalities. This voluntary membership program brings officials of cities and towns together in fellowship of public service — which strengthens and guides local government in a progressive, responsible fashion. The primary purpose of the League is to promote understanding of municipal government and administration in Alabama and thereby advance the welfare of the people of this state.