LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: City officials attend

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City Common Council typically meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. The meeting, which usually would have been scheduled for Jan. 10 did not happen, as the Mayor, council members and even the clerk-treasurer were away trying to become better leaders for the city. They were attending the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT) Conference in Indianapolis.IACT provides Indiana members a means to network, educate and express their interests before the state and federal governments. According to the IACT website, the association helps municipal officials remain effective leaders by keeping mayors, clerk-treasurers, council members and appointed staff educated about new laws, rules, and programs, and by providing education opportunities to enhance management and leadership skills.The conference is what Mayor Ryan Daniel referred to as a “boot camp” for government officials, both newly-elected or those returning from previous terms. According to Daniel, the conference hosts classes, workshops and information sessions about everything from crisis management to public relations. “Basically it was a time for us to gather information from many different town and city officials across the state,” Daniel said.Daniel made it clear that the conference is merely a means of sharing information on how jobs are done by government officials. Indiana has strict open-door laws that cannot be violated by means of conducting official business at a private gathering such as this.Daniel, along with Clerk-Treasurer Rosie Coyle and council members Nicole Penrod, Ben Romine, Bill Simpson, Jacie Warrick and Dan Weigold all attended the conference. Council will meet again Feb. 14.