The purpose of the Center for Planning and Governance (CEPG) is to enhance the leadership and decision-making abilities of elected and appointed officials. This effort involves the creation of self-sustaining partnership between UI and three local government associations, the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC), the Association of Idaho Cities (ICA), and the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to provide timely and relevant training for elected and appointed local government officials. The CEPG aims to institutionalize continuing education and leadership development in local government. Systematic evaluation research will be conducted on training events and the impacts of CEPG efforts will be documented. Design of the CEPG will occur during the first year of the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative.
Phase I: Course Development
Training for local officials will occur through an array of educational programs coordinated through the CEPG and/or in partnership with other professional organizations. Training programs, primarily non-credit, will be delivered through workshops, short courses, and institutes. Selected courses will be offered for credit, leading to professional certification and/or meeting continuing education requirements.
Long-term plans are to provide training targeted to those with specific official responsibilities, such as planners, assessors and clerks. Other programs, such as ethics and public involvement methods will be offered to more global audiences. Specialized publications delivered through web-based media will allow local officials to keep current on contemporary issues facing local government, as well as changes in state law that affect the organization and operation of city and county government.
Phase II: Certified Public Official (CPO) Program
Education delivered through workshops, short courses, and seminars will become part of a general Certified Public Official (CPO) program or one of several professional certifications. These programs will focus primarily on technical and management skills. Examples of such programs include one for municipal clerks and tax collectors and another for county assessors and appraisers.
Example courses for the CPO include: community planning & design; growth management; urban design principles; disaster management & recovery; housing; zoning; comprehensive planning, planning law, and open meetings; taxation; conducting local elections; personnel and management techniques; effective meetings; ethics; current issues facing local government; local public finance principles; intergovernmental cooperation; economic trends effect on local government; and interfacing with the public.