Although serving as a member of the governing body can be very rewarding, it requires a serious commitment of time and effort that is reflected in the quality of life in the community.
There are many duties and responsibilities that an elected official must carry out.
Elected officials must manage:
In order to fulfill these duties and responsibilities, elected officials must make a serious effort to educate themselves on the requirements of the job and stay informed on current issues affecting their community. An elected official must also take time out of his or her busy life and leisure time to attend meetings and other official functions.
The governing body carries out its duties and responsibilities through a set process spelled out in state law and local ordinances and that allows for maximum public input and involvement.
In addition to leadership ability, serving as an elected official requires certain skills and knowledge that office holders may not have needed to use before. In fact, few elected officials enter office knowing all the details of the job. Because of this, many resources have been developed and are available to assist elected officials in carrying out their duties.
Among other things an elected official needs to be aware of the rules that apply to:
Local government provides needed services and brings to life the goals and priorities identified and approved by the community. Alaska is unique, in that there are frequently a variety of local government entities serving one community and different classes of municipal government with varying powers and responsibility.
The services provided by local governments vary depending on
Through its seven regional offices located throughout the state, Division of Community and Regional Affairs staff within the state's Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development provide "Elected Official" training and technical assistance to local governments on-site in the various communities and through regional workshops.
The Local Government On Line (LOGON) provides information on issues that local officials frequently deal with as well as providing links to many other resources, including publications, identification of various agencies and organizations available to provide assistance, applicable law, and training opportunities. Essentially, the LOGON is a portal that guides the user through varying levels of information from brief overview to in-depth analysis. The division is currently working on training modules addressing many issues local governments deal with.
The Alaska Municipal League (AML) also provides Newly Elected Official training every year that coincides with most municipal elections.