The County Voice

CSAC President Virginia Bass Challenges County Supervisors to Participate in CSAC Institute Trainings

Even if you think you know everything there is about being an elected representative in your community, CSAC Institute courses will enable you to learn something new and useful. Having recently completed my Institute Credential, I want to share some of my experiences and encourage my supervisor colleagues and county staff to take advantage of this incredible professional development opportunity.

Through its Institute for Excellence in County Government, CSAC has done a remarkable job of making it easy to find courses, locations and dates that I could work in my schedule. Courses are currently offered in Shasta/Tehama, Tulare, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Orange Counties, with classes starting in San Diego in September. You can find course descriptions and an updated class schedule by visiting the CSAC Institute online.

Many courses, I found, have a component of ‘not judging a book by their cover.’ The Financing California’s Counties course was an entertaining, extremely informative and valuable use of my time. Diane Cummins does a masterful job of teaching the class and providing invaluable historical perspective of the process throughout the decades. She provided the information with a great sense of humor and I left the class thinking, ‘why have I waited so long to try out the classes?’ I was hooked.

Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised at how these classes affected me in ways that went far beyond my job. Strategic thinking, collaboration, negotiations, and emotions…these things they are relevant in all we do as humans as we navigate our lives. In fact, I continue to work on the lessons learned from the Leading with Emotional Intelligence master class, being more aware of the world around me, and the part I play in it, on a personal level and as a representative of my community. I left there with ‘homework’ that I work on every day, and I know the work is never done.

I cannot stress enough that CSAC Institute Classes are well worth the investment of time and money, no matter where you are in your county service career. You will meet new people and think about things a little differently. As a supervisor, it was refreshing to be in classes that were very much populated by members of staff, which gave me a more rounded view of the subject at hand.

We are all so busy that it is hard to figure out how to fit anything extra in our day, but making the commitment and doing the work to finish my Credential was probably one of the best things I have done. I praise CSAC for making this high-quality service available to all member counties, and to underscore my personal support for the CSAC Institute, I am challenging my fellow supervisors to complete their credentials by the CSAC Annual Conference in San Francisco. The Institute’s resourceful staff can let you know how many credits you need to cross that goal line and complete your credential. To sweeten the deal, if 10 or more supervisors complete their challenge before the annual meeting, I will personally donate $100 to the charity of choice for the first 10 supervisors. Who’s game?

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