For Flower Mound Councilmember Mike Wallace, the task of completing a years worth of municipal training and educational courses was a challenge worth undertaking if it would help him to better serve his community.
The Texas Municipal League (TML) recognized Wallace’s 2009 educational efforts in February at the Elected Officials’ Conference in El Paso. When Wallace took office in May 2009, he attended a TML workshop for newly-elected council members and learned about the organization’s educational institute. In order to qualify for special recognition, a participant must complete 42 continuing education units in one year. Pursuing an aggressive educational agenda and schedule, Wallace completed more than 43 hours in less than six months.
The Texas Municipal League Institute encourages all elected officials to learn as much as possible about their governance roles, and provides a variety of educational programs to improve the policy-making and leadership skills of elected city officials. Mayors, council members, and commissioners have the opportunity to attend a number of educational sessions regarding legal issues, budgeting, governance, personnel, open meetings, and more.
“The sharing of good ideas has been one of the greatest benefits of this program. To hear about the challenges and accomplishments in other cities was a great learning experience,” said Wallace. “It was also a good opportunity for us to share our successes with others and let the rest of Texas know how progressive Flower Mound really is.”
Wallace noted that it was often the smaller cities that were sharing the most innovative ideas, programs, solutions, and problem-solving techniques during the sessions and exchanging of ideas. While he reached his goal for 2009, Councilmember Wallace intends to continue his municipal education for the duration of his time serving the community, and will encourage other elected officials to also participate in the program.
“I encourage all mayors and council members to get involved, continue to learn, and share ideas,” said Wallace. “Become involved as a leader. It ultimately helps us better serve our residents, which is why we’re here.”