By Nicole Collins, Co-Editor/Writer
Mayor Kenneth Gist recently graduated from the Advanced Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government.
The Advanced Institute is a training program created by the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) in 2014 to provide elected officials continuing education through classroom instruction and interaction with experienced peers.
“It was a great experience,” says Gist. He further adds that any time you get the opportunity to take advanced classes to better your knowledge is a good idea and recommends any council member to do it.
To graduate from the Advanced Institute, officials participate in at least four of six courses ranging from public safety to budgeting to economic development to governance.
Gist says he enrolled in the program in 2016 and completed his last course in February 2020, when he also received his graduation certificate.
MASC offers the Advanced Institute exclusively to graduates of the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government. Gist, who has been on the Woodruff City Council since 2002, says he completed that program in the 2004-2005 time frame.
While the City of Woodruff and MASC strongly encourage taking the training, the participation is strictly voluntary for city council members, according to Lee Bailey, city manager of the City of Woodruff. “It is the Mayor’s desire to be a better leader that has lead him to finish the training,” says Bailey.
Bailey says this training helps Mayor Gist become a more effective leader because it keeps him up to date on changes to the state statue and prepares him for new policies rolling out through the state.
Additionally, the City of Woodruff uses MASC for department specific training throughout the year.
Photo Caption: Mayor Kenneth Gist with Mayor Cornelius Huff, MASC President
Photo Credit: Courtesy of MASC