DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow presented District II Commissioner Scot Westbrook on Tuesday with a certificate recognizing his achievement from the Alabama Local Government Training Institute's Level II training program.
Westbrook completed 120 hours of professional development training on financial management and planning, public works practices and ethical and legal requirements, and the county commission's responsibilities, among many other courses from the ALGTI.
Harcrow said more than 20 years ago, the Alabama County Commission Associating began a government training institute where new commissioners are mandated to undergo 50 hours of courses to fulfill their obligations.
While serving as president of the ACCA, Harcrow said they adopted a PLAN, an operation in which they added different course levels.
“Whether you understand it or not, education and what you can do and can’t do is the key to government operations. It’s not something that you just take up one day and you know it all, it doesn't work that way,” he said.
ACCA Executive Director Sonny Brasfield said the Level II training program that Westbrook completed involves a set of advanced, issue-oriented courses in which many county commissioners learn how to perform their duties as a commissioner efficiently.
“When Alabama’s county officials share new ideas and information with one another, they learn how to improve the services offered in their own counties. This sort of communication ultimately helps county leaders contribute to a better quality of life for their constituents,” said Brasfield.
Harcrow said the ALGTI recognizes the accomplishment of those who have gone above and beyond what is required and usually present the award at their annual meeting. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they didn’t have their conference this year.
Westbrook completed the Level II training of the Commissioner Graduate Program this year, an extension of the 50=hour Commissioner Education Program created in 1994 by an act of the Alabama legislature as a mandatory program for first-time county commissioners.
According to the ACCA, the Commissioner Graduate Program classes are supervised by the ALGTI board of directors, composed of county officials involved in ACCA, educators and members of the Alabama Legislature.
Harcrow congratulated Westbrook on his achievement and expressed his appreciation for his willingness to go through the program as an essential part of being a commissioner.
“We appreciate all you’ve done, and we ask you to continue to remember us in the days to come,” he said.
Accepting his certificate, Westbrook said he really appreciated the recognition.