These are just a few of the comments we’ve received from participants in the CSAC Institute. In February and March the first courses were held and the response has been excellent. Over 55 county supervisors and senior executives participated in the first three courses; and well over 80 more are registered for the next few scheduled classes.  So far participants represent 24 different counties and three corporate associates. In addition there are at least four supervisors pursuing their California Credentialed County Supervisor designation along with at least six senior executive working towards their California Credentialed County Senior Executive designation.  Both credentials require the completion of a series of required and elective courses tied to a foundation of leadership and knowledge competencies.  There’s actually a race emerging from the supervisors on who will be the first credentialed supervisor!

It’s exciting to see such a positive response to the classes. I’ve had the chance to drop in on a couple and echo the comments made by participants. The faculty from our partner institutions – University of Southern California and Sacramento State University – is doing an outstanding job of engaging participants in their learning experience and enhancing the capacity of individuals and county organizations to meet the challenging times we face.

Haven’t participated in a class yet?  I urge you to consider attending an upcoming course.  They are specifically designed for county officials, cover leadership and knowledge areas that our members have identified as critical, and provide low cost, accessible professional development opportunities for elected officials and senior staff.

Several outstanding courses are on the horizon.  On April 17th, Climate Change, AB 32 and SB 375: What do counties need to know? will be presented.  This course is nearly sold out.  April 30th is Getting Things Done: Working Effectively with Others. Taught by former Nebraska Senator Dave Landis this one-day class is targeted for supervisors and other elected officials and gets into the nuts and bolts of how to work with other elected officials and governing boards to achieve your objectives. This class is presented in association with USC.

For those attending the CSAC Legislative Conference, stay an extra day and attend Financing California Counties on May 28 and 29. This course examines the source and history of county funding and the state-local fiscal relationship. The class will help you ask better questions, make better decisions and better explain county finances to constituents. We are honored to have Diane Cummins as the faculty. Ms. Cummins just retired as chief fiscal policy advisor to the president pro tem of the senate and has a long history of working on state and local financing issues. It should be a fascinating class.

Please visit the CSAC Institute website to learn more about these and other courses, and to register yourself for a class!  You will also find a growing list of on-line resources in the Institute’s “Knowledge Center” on the website.  The summer and fall course schedule is being developed right now and will be available later this month.  I’m always interested to hear if you have a suggestion for a course or how we can improve the Institute.