How I spent my summer vacation

While most people think of a summer vacation as a week at the beach, the mountains or a cruise, that is not how I have spent my last seven summer vacations. I must confess I did spend a few days at Pawleys Island, but not the whole week. Part of the mayor’s and vouncilmembers’ jobs is to represent the City of Clinton at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Municipal Association. It just seems they always schedule the meeting during my family’s annual beach trip. Not familiar with the South Carolina Municipal Association? To be honest with you, I wasn’t either until I was elected to public office. The Municipal Association was formed in 1930 and serves our state’s 270 cities and towns. Its mission is to offer the services, programs and educational tolls that will give your local elected officials the ability and knowledge to operate their cities in an increasingly regulated and complex environment. The Municipal Association consists of 270 member cities and towns scattered throughout the state, rangingin size from 45 citizens (town of Smyrna in York County) to 129,272 citizens (the city of Columbia). All 270 cities and towns in South Carolina are members of the Association. This is very significant for our smaller cities and towns with limited resources because many of the general requirements that apply to our largest cities also apply to our smallest. This allows our smaller cities and towns to utilize the same resources of our larger cities, resources which they could not afford by themselves. The Association or MASC , through its education, communication, and field services programs bring the resources of the Association to each city and town, which enables the cities and towns of South Carolina to comply with complex legal requirements, minimize risk exposure, and operate efficiently and effectively to improve the communities which they serve. The most important and significant education and training event of the year is the Associations Annual meeting, which is where my vacation enters into this column. I am proud to say I have not missed an annual meeting since elected to serve our city. I cannot say the same about my annual vacation. Maybe I can convince the over 1,200 people who attended this year to hold the meeting some other week besides my vacation week. The annual meeting provides training on city budgeting and finance, municipal economic development, utility policy and administration, public safety policy and administration, Freedom of information act in South Carolina, forms of government in South Carolina, business license tax administration, municipal annexation, ethics and public accountability just for starters. The annual meeting also gives elected officials and their staff a great opportunity to network with other elected officials from around our state to share ideas and concerns which affect all our citizens. At times, I feel this networking provides the greatest opportunity for new ideas and ways to solve similar issues which all cities share. The Municipal Association has proven to be a great resource for our City Council and Staff in improving the quality of life of our citizens. So, when you think of summer vacation, I think of the Municipal Associations annual meeting. It seems to have become a “summer vacation” tradition for me, which I look forward to participating in each year. (Bob McLean is the mayor of Clinton.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

 

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