Municipal Leadership Academy

Municipal Leadership Academy

Sara Shonrock

(515) 294-1844

The Municipal Leadership Academy provides elected municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities and the Office of State and Local Government Programs at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Note: Online Registration for this training can be found below.

Topics covered during the series include:

  • city finance and budgeting
  • meeting procedures
  • municipal law
  • economic development
  • ethics and fraud prevention
  • nuisance abatement 
  • personnel issues
  • land use and zoning

MLA Part One

Once the election is over, the real work begins for newly elected local officials. Running a campaign can be a great way to get to know the people and issues in your community, but to be successful in governance city officials must quickly learn the responsibilities of their new positions. MLA Part One will be offered at the following locations during December of 2023: 

This training is provided at a cost of $80 and includes a copy of the most recent Municipal Policy Leaders’ Handbook, a $30.00 value in itself. MLA Part One sessions occur 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Thursday workshops and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Saturday workshops. The program will include the latest information and policy guidance on topics such as:

Budget and Finance: Shortly after taking office the new council will be heavily involved in budget preparation. This portion of the training will provide an overview of city budgets including timelines, possible revenue streams and typical expenditures.

Effective City Councils: Additionally, part of being a mayor or council member is learning to work as a team to accomplish the city’s goals. Learn strategies to conduct more efficient and effective meetings.

Top 10 Things to Know: Running a city presents numerous concerns on several legal fronts. Learn about state and federal laws that impact and affect day-to-day city business.

The link to registration for MLA Part 1 can be found HERE. 

MLA Part Two

This online training will be released during the first week of January, two months after November elections. The program will be available on the League Web site for viewing at your convenience. MLA Part Two can be viewed all at once or separately in order to fit within a city’s orientation program for new officials. Topics for this training: The City Budget, Basics of Planning and Zoning and an orientation session titled “You Got Elected, Now What? This session will cover strategies for success in office, dealing with major personnel issues, meeting basics and a brief overview of roles and responsibilities. Cost of this training is $60.

MLA Part Three

This training is designed for those looking for more in-depth information on the challenges facing cities. Like any MLA session, this training is appropriate for newly elected or veteran city officials as well as appointed city officials.

MLA Part Three will be offered at the following locations:

The training is provided at a cost of $80. MLA Part Three sessions occur 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The program includes the latest information and policy guidance on topics such as: Economic Development, Community Betterment (Including Nuisance Abatement), Strategic Planning, Goal Setting.

MLA Part Four: League Conference

The Final part of MLA is attendance at the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit that will take place in the fall