Congratulations to Commissioner Steve Wantz for graduating from the Univ. of MD Academy for Excellence in Local Governance
September 28, 2017 by Kevin Dayhoff
It was announced today that Commissioner Steve Wantz, District 1, graduated from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
The graduation ceremony took place at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy Academy Fellows graduation ceremony in the University of Maryland Memorial Chapel.
I would like to be among the first to congratulate Commissioner Wantz on his accomplishment. Graduating from the academy takes long hours, and a great deal of perseverance, and dedication, on top of attending to the day-to-day time and energy challenges of being an elected official.
Westminster Common Council Member Suzanne Albert and I graduated among a total of five local Carroll County officials on June 2, 2001. We are well-aware of the challenges of attending out of town classes and spending long hours in the classroom in order to complete a minimum of 12 classes in a two year period, in order to be eligible to graduate.
In 1999, I was encouraged to take the classes, by my late father-in-law Dave Babylon, who had served on the Westminster Common Council for 25 years in the 1970s-1980s. He was a big supporter of the MML and emphasized looking beyond our walls – beyond of city limits for learning opportunities in order that we maintain Westminster’s reputation for being on the cutting edge of forward thinking governance.
On October 18, 1999, I explained in a memo, “The Academy is a joint effort of the Maryland Municipal League (MML), the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT,) and the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service (IGS.)
“The Academy is a voluntary training program designed as an educational response to the professional needs of local officials in Maryland. Local Officials are increasingly asked to do more, often with fewer resources. As more governmental decision making is made at the local level, increasingly, local officials are called on to understand and make decisions on highly complex issues with weighty implications to their jurisdictions.
“The Academy has been designed to help local officials meet the challenges of their roles. To receive the Academy certificate local government officials must complete training sessions on six core topics and six elective topics. Classes will be of varying lengths. On average, it is expected each Fellow will have completed between 25 and 40 hours of training.”
On September 28, 2017, Carroll County government announced that “Commissioner Wantz joined more than 90 public officials from across the state to receive an Academy certificate in the presence of family and friends. All Academy Fellows completed a substantial number of program hours, which included core and elective classes designed to meet their professional needs as municipal or county officials in local government. Through the program, Academy Fellows not only enhanced their understanding of local government issues and ethical standards for public service, but also developed a foundation for informed policy making and effective governance.
Commissioner Steve Wantz said in a county media release, “This professional development program greatly increased my knowledge as a government official. The curriculum was challenging and included topics such as risk management, county financial management, employment issues, ethics, open meetings, and the Public Information Act. I thoroughly enjoyed working with officials from other jurisdictions and believe the program made me a stronger, more informed and effective leader for Carroll County.”
The release further explained “The Academy, which offered its first classes in 1998, is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the Maryland Municipal League, the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Local Government Insurance Trust.
“The School of Public Policy is recognized as one of the country’s premier programs in public policy and management. The School has more than 25 years of experience delivering acclaimed leadership development and public policy programs to public (federal, state and local) clients as well as for- and non-profit organizations and government agencies from abroad.”
Congratulations Commissioner Wantz. The classes you took to graduate from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance will serve you well and all of Carroll County will benefit.
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