Peggy Bell, who serves as the Seat 3 councilmember for the Town of Cutler Bay, is one of the most recent graduates of the Good Government Initiative’s “Leaders of Excellence” program. Bell was among 16 elected officials and two state representatives who graduated on Dec. 18. Bell is the second council member from Cutler Bay to graduate from the elite program.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Good Government Initiative,” said Peggy Bell in a January interview. “The knowledge I have gained will help me to further serve the residents of Cutler Bay to the best of my ability.
“When I began this journey in 2005 there was nowhere to learn the many facets of local government. Instead I had to learn everything ‘on the job.’ Now, through this program, newly elected officials can quickly get up to speed on subjects such as ethics, laws and procedures necessary to do their job, and most importantly, to do it effectively,” she added.
“In addition, those who have spent time in government, such as myself, can learn from collaborating with other elected officials by gaining knowledge from their experiences.”
The Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami was created by Katy Sorenson, who served as Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 8 from 1994 to 2010. Sorenson is the president and CEO of the Good Government Initiative, which provides leadership training opportunities for elected officials.
From late August to November each year, the program offers a certificate for elected officials who receive more than 60 hours of training in the nuts and bolts of government in South Florida. They also periodically offer an all-day workshop for citizens who are considering a run for office.
Independently incorporated, the Good Government Initiative’s “Leaders of Excellence” program was inaugurated in late August 2011. Topics covered in the curriculum for Class III, the most recent, ranged from ethics, budget and finance, land use and smart use of natural resources. It included presentations, case studies, tours and discussions on governing and working with constituents in an diverse community, media relations, history and economic development, among others.
The Initiative is funded by the University of Miami, The Miami Foundation, James K. and James L. Knight Foundation, and other donors and volunteers. Additionally, the Initiative sponsors several events throughout the year to bring together elected officials and the public “to consider issues important to the enhancement of the values for local and state level government.”
For more information about the Good Government Initiative call 305-689-8210 or visit the website at www.goodgov.net.