Municipal Leadership Academy 2013-2014

The Municipal Leadership Academy provides municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities, Institute of Public Affairs and Iowa State University Extension.

Topics covered during the series include:
• city finance and budgeting
• meeting procedures
• municipal law
• economic development
• ethics and fraud prevention
• nuisance abatement
• employment and personnel issues
• land use and zoning

Effective Municipal Leadership Requires Knowledge
Both newly elected and experienced mayors, council members, city clerks and city administrators will benefit from attendance. Attending the Municipal Leadership Academy is one of the first steps a new city official should take toward success in public office. From open meetings to city finances, these sessions are designed to quickly bring new officials up to speed on municipal issues. Current elected or appointed city officials will also find incredible value in the up-to-date information on municipal operations.

MLA Part One
Once the election is over, the real work begins for newly elected local officials. Running a campaign can be a great way to get to know the people and issues in your community, but to be successful in governance city officials must quickly learn the responsibilities of their new positions.

MLA Part One was originally offered at six separate locations in the Fall 2013. It is now offered as an online training that included nearly 3 hours of instruction and a copy of the 2014 Municipal Policy Leaders’ Handbook. The handbook is published by the Institute of Public Affairs and by itself is a $30 value. The training is provided at a cost of just $75. The program will include the latest information and policy guidance on the following topics:

Budget and Finance: Shortly after taking office the new council will be heavily involved in budget preparation. This portion of the training will provide an overview of city budgets including timelines, possible revenue streams and typical expenditures.

Effective City Councils: Additionally, part of being a mayor or council member is learning to work as a team to accomplish the city’s goals. Learn strategies to conduct more efficient and effective meetings.

Municipal Law: Running a city presents numerous concerns on several legal fronts. Learn about state and federal laws that impact and affect day-to-day city business.

The Ethical City Official: A segment on ethics will provide an overview of relevant state laws such as receiving gifts and conflicts of interest. The session will also highlight how elected officials play an important role in preventing fraud and abuse.

MLA Part Two will be offered as an online training during MLA Week- January 6 - 10, 2014. We are requesting that city officials watch this training as a group during this week, but the program will be archived on the League Web site for viewing at your convenience. MLA Part Two can be viewed all at once or separately in order to fit within a city’s orientation program for new officials. Topics for this training: The City Budget, Basics of Planning and Zoning, Economic Development, and Human Resources for Cities of All Sizes.  Cost of this training will be $60.

MLA Part Three: Webinar Series will cover topics of interest to newly elected and more experienced city officials taught by state experts in the subject matter. These recorded sessions will be available as monthly webinars and also archived on the League’s Web site: February 2014: Creating the Future:  Goal Setting for City Governments, March 2014: Preparing for Development, May 2014: Emergency Management and June 2014: TIF in Practice. Webinars are $30 each or $60 for all four.  

MLA Part Four: Leadership Summit We will convene the MLA Leadership Summit in Des Moines on April 25-26, 2014. The newly renovated Holiday Inn Downtown- Mercy Campus hotel will serve as the location for this two-day event. The education portion of the event will feature a mix of topics dealing with common city challenges such as nuisance abatement and economic development. The full agenda and online registration are available on the League Web site. Cost of this training is $125.

MLA Part Five: League Conference
The Final part of MLA is attendance at the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit that will take place September 24-26, 2014 in Council Bluffs. To assist you in continuing your development as a leader, a number of the workshops at the conference are designated specifically for MLA participants. Separate registration for this event will be required. 

Additional information on the Municipal Leadership Academy
Contact: Mark Tomb at or (515) 244-7282.