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Oklahoma Municipal League

Champions for Effective Local Government

Fact Sheet for Required Training for First Time Elected and Appointed Officials

The new law applies to those officials elected for the first time to a municipal position for the first time after January 1, 2005. Beginning November 1, 2006 the law will apply to those officials appointed to a municipal position after July 1, 2006. If an elected official has previously been elected, he or she is exempt from the law.


- The new law requires training to include but not be limited to: Open Meetings Act, Open Records Act, municipal budget requirements, ethics, conflict of interest, and purchasing procedures.

- The new law requires that the training be held at a minimum of six regional locations with every effort to be made to accommodate long-distance learning.

- Failure to meet the training requirements for either appointed or elected officials a year after taking office will result in the person ceasing to hold office.


MANDATORY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR MUNICIPAL ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


Who Does the Act Apply To?


Q: Who falls under the mandatory training requirements in SB 587, HB 2421 and HB 2557?

A: Each person elected for the first time as an officer of a municipality on or after January 1, 2005, or appointed for the first time on or after July 1, 2006 shall be required within one (1) year after taking the oath of office to attend an institute for municipal officials.


Q: So, if I was reelected after January 1, 2005 am I required to be trained?

A: No. It only applies to those elected for the first time.


Q: Does the Act only require training for governing body members elected after January 1, 2005?

A: No. The Act also applies to those elected or appointed for the first time as a municipal officer."


Q: Does this mean the Act applies to elected clerks and treasurers and any other municipal elected officials?

A: Yes, if they are elected for the first time after January 1, 2005.


Q: Is our appointed municipal attorney considered a “municipal officer?”

A: No. HB 2557 modifies the definition of those who are required to attend the institute for municipal officials to first time elected or appointed “officers” and not “positions.” Adding “officer” to the statute, clarifies that those appointed to positions such as municipal attorneys, judges, accountants and others appointed to work for the municipality do not fall under the “appointed” position.


Q: What if a person was elected for the first time in a special election prior to January 1, 2005?

A: The Act would not apply since the election was not held after January 1, 2005.


Q: What if an individual was appointed after January 1, 2005 to fill a vacancy in an elected position?

A: HB 2421 was passed in 2006, which now applies to those “appointed for the first time” on or after July 1, 2006. If you are unsure, consult with your municipal attorney.


Q: Does the act apply to elections held under the Town Meeting Act?

A: Yes.


When Must the Training Occur?


Q: How soon must a person be trained who is elected for the first time after January 1, 2005?

A: Within one year after taking the oath of office.


Q: If there was a special election to fill a vacancy and the winner took the oath of office on July 10, 2008 when must the training occur?

A: Within one year after taking the oath of office - July 10, 2009.


What Kind of Training Does the Statute Require?


Q: Is specialized training required?

A: Yes.


Q: What are these specific areas of the law?

A: Municipal finance issues of budget and purchasing requirements, Open Meetings Act and conducting public meetings, Open Records Act, ethics and conflict of interest.


What are the Options for Training Dates and Places?


Q: Does OML qualify as a trainer?

A: Yes.


Q: Has OML scheduled training around the state?

A: Yes. Contact OML for the latest training dates and times or check OML’s web site.


What About the OML June Institutes?


Q: Will the OML June Institutes held each year in Tulsa and Oklahoma City qualify?

A: Yes. OML June Institutes will qualify if the official attends those sessions that are required by the statute.

What are the Consequences if the Training is not Received?


Q: If a person elected for the first time after January 1, 2005 or appointed for the first time after July 1, 2006, does not complete training one year after taking the oath of office what happens?

A: The person shall cease to hold the position.


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