In Pennsylvania, municipal elections occur in odd numbered years and the governing boards formed by those elections swear-in new members at a meeting that following January. At that same meeting the board will reorganize, including making various appointments or assignments. If participating, one of those appointments is Delegate to the Council of Governments (COG). In a wholly unscientific anecdotal survey, it has been observed that this duty is often assigned to the newest member(s) of the board; i.e. an individual just elected in November. This results in that newly elected official having to learn the ropes of their office and what it takes to be a member of the board of an organization intended for regional action. Challenging!
To help, here is a handy top-ten list of ways COG Delegates can make a difference.
The Rail-Volution Conference held in Pittsburgh Oct 21-24, 2018. Rail-Volution is a conference about "building livable communities with transit." A highlight was Jarrett Walker presenting at the Plenary session on Tuesday. Those (like this author) never having heard of him now have the good fortune to become familiar with his work thanks to conference. Take the opportunity to visit his blog, "Human Transit" and get introduced to his book. Particularly interesting on the blog is the debate presented at the Cato Institute. Walker's blog presents hours of new thinking and learning for the newly initiated.
It is a good reminder that being introduced to new ideas isn't just good for us for the benefit of the information received, but for the experience of gaining new perspective as well. Constantly seek out new ideas--not just information to do what you already do, better. The experience of opening the mind has a multiplier effect. Ask artful question about the benefits of training and conferences, so to encourage education as well as expansive thinking. Wise leaders apply thoughtfulness before characterizing trainings as junkets. How do you validate training and development expenses?
Susan Hockenberry's blog of suggestions for info and updates.