Winter #MACoCon Will Feature Academy for Excellence Courses on PIA, Ethics, and Risk Management

Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance (County Track) are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Courses to earn their certificate through the University of MD’s School of Public Policy – MACo will offer 3 Cores at Winter Conference.

academylogoThe Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer certificate program for elected and appointed county and municipal officials. The program provides a strong background of necessary skills and knowledge for local government leaders. It was founded by MACo and MML, is facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and is sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).

Academy courses are open to ALL conference registrants – Academy Fellows must complete evaluation forms for each class to earn credit.

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Elizabeth Hinson at

Public Information Act

  • Description: What kind of information should be released to the public upon request? Many difficulties can be avoided by knowing the answer. This class helps officials and staff at all levels understand the requirements of state law governing requests for public records and suggests best practices for handling those requests. The class includes small roundtable discussions using real-life scenarios to further illustrate appropriate responses to requests from the public or the press.
  • Speaker: Sara Klemm, Assistant Attorney General, Representative, Public Access Ombudsman, Office of the Attorney General
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, December 6, 2023; 8:45 am – 10:15 am

Basics of Risk Management

  • Description: One of the main responsibilities of local governments is to protect its residents from risk to themselves and their property. Risk may result from a number of sources, including fire, crime, automobile accidents, harm to the infrastructure, or as a result of waste disposal. This class is designed to sharpen the awareness of officials that local government activities are subject to risks that may result in significant loss. Through learning about steps to reduce and control loss exposure and tools for identifying hazards, government officials can learn how to avoid the consequences of taking unnecessary risk.
  • Speaker: Larry Bohlen, Director of Field Services, Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT)
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, December 6, 2023; 10:30 am – noon


  • Description: Officials should be knowledgeable of their public ethics ordinance, as generally required by state law. Many officials fill out the necessary forms and assume that they have complied with the law. But are their day-to-day actions living up to the intent of the law? There is often a fine line between legal and ethical behavior, and this class illustrates the differences through real-life scenarios and small group discussions.
  • Speaker: Ernie Crofoot, Esq., Former County Attorney
  • Date/Time: Friday, December 8, 2023; 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: