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Academy for Excellence in Local Government Leadership certification recipients Councilmember Rosemary Hardiman (Town of Bethany Beach), Mayor Polly Sierer (City of Newark), Town Manager Kristy Rogers (Town of Milton) and project coordinator John Collier (Town of Milton) pose with IPA Director Dr. Jerome R. Lewis and OSPC Director Constance Holland at the 2017 Delaware Institute for Local Government Leaders.
Its no surprise that the work of local government officials
affects your day-to-day life, but what is it that ensures those officials have
the resources and qualifications they need to keep things running smoothly for
all Delawareans? The answer is a series of professional development and
training opportunities for local government orchestrated by the Institute for Public Administration (IPA).
Principal planner Karen Horton wears many hats through her
job at the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA). As housing is the largest
use of developed land in the State of Delaware, Hortons schedule is riddled
with appointments, meetings and consultations focused on housing regulations
and smart growth, comprehensive town planning, fair housing initiatives and
even disaster recovery, all while working to adhere to Delawares state growth
Despite her demanding schedule, however, Horton didnt
hesitate to make time to lend her expertise to Planning 207, one of the many
local government-training programs offered through IPA, a research and public service
center in the School of Public Policy and Administration.
Spearheaded by IPAs Local Government Training
Program and closely aligned with the University of Delawares mission to
cultivate both learning and the free exchange of ideas, each certificate
program capitalizes on IPAs mission to link the research and resources of UD
with the management and informational needs of local, county and state
governments in Delaware.
The professional development and training opportunities
offered through the Local Government Training Program consist of three separate
certificate programs: the Delaware
Planning Education Program, the Municipal
Clerks Certificate Program and the Academy for
Excellence in Local Government Leadership, a 24-credit-hour certificate
program that serves as an educational response to the professional needs of
Delawares local officials. Upon the successful completion of program
requirements, participants are granted certificates, designations and awards
tied directly to their line of work and bring new resources, tools and lessons
learned to their communities.
IPAs Local Government Training Program is a great resource
for small towns and local governments throughout the state to ensure that they
are well trained and prepared for the challenges that they encounter in their
communities, said IPA Policy Scientist and Local Government Training Program
Co-Coordinator Sean ONeill, AICP. Throughout its history, IPA has responded
to the professional development needs of Delaware's local governments, which is
consistent with the central mission of the University of Delaware.
This falls first training course was Planning 207, a course
in the Delaware Planning Education Program that has been offered before but was
brought back with a different angle in mind. Titled The Housing Demographic
Realignment: Solving the Millennial Puzzle in Delaware, the workshop explored
the changing demographics statewide and how those numbers are impacting the
DSHAs Horton stressed the importance of the current
demographic changes in play ultimately affecting the landscape of housing in
the future. Millennials will likely have different preferences than the
Boomers before them did, but housing regulations havent changed in response,
said Horton. We need to start thinking holistically as communitiesnot only
the local officials, but the people who live herethat we need to plan for
Joining Horton in the Planning 207 line-up was David Edgell,
AICP, from the Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC). As a
principal planner and circuit-rider with OSPC, Edgell is responsible for
planning and coordinating new policy and real estate developments between state
agencies and local towns within Kent County. Sharing insights on the states
strategy for tackling housing needs in the future, Edgell stressed the
importance of planning in advance for future housing needs, sharing with attendees
that by 2050 an additional 177,146 people are expected to be living in
Phil McGinnis, managing broker of McGinnis Commercial Real
Estate Company in Dover, rounded out Planning 207s instructor roster and
complemented the courses objectives by painting a picture of the current state
of the Delaware housing market and what that may mean for the future.
Through open discussion, local officials learn a lot from
each other, realize theyre not alone in tackling their problems and have an
opportunity to network in the most beneficial of ways, said Edgell. Ultimately,
this benefits not only them, but their communities and the people of Delaware
as a whole.
Its not just the course instructors speaking of the
benefits of IPAs local government trainings. For AECOM planner Savannah
Edwards, M.P.A. 17, workshops like Planning 207 have opened doors.
IPAs planning series allows me to continue my education
beyond the formal classroom setting. The workshops are an ideal setting for
building upon my experiences in the field, said Edwards. As a new
professional, these courses are helping me quickly transition into
understanding the several facets of a planning career.
In cooperation with the National League of Cities, the
Delaware League of Local Governments and the universitys Sustainable Coastal
Communities Initiative, IPA also plays host to the long-running Delaware
Institute for Local Government Leaders (DILGL), a statewide event that
addresses major trends and issues facing local governments in Delaware. The
institute also serves as the official launch of IPAs local government training
programs, which are primarily held from January to June every year.
The 2017 DILGL theme was The
Role of Local Governments in Economic Development. Featured speakers included Clarence
Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities; Cerron
Cade, director of the States Division of Small Business, Development and
Tourism; Troy Mix, AICP, policy scientist at UDs Institute for Public
Administration; and Bert Scoglietti, director of Policy and External Affairs in
the State Office of Management and Budget.
A complete listing of local government training courses
included in the 20172018 training series is available on the Institute for
Public Administrations events
Article by Chris Kelley.
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