Selmian receives award

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 22, 2004

Only four Alabamians left Washington D.C. after a week of training with an award from the National League of Cities’ Leadership Training Institute. Sam Randolph was one of them.

Randolph, Selma City Council member, received the national award on March 6 after completing 16 credits worth of classes over the past few months. The institute has four levels of awards, each requiring additional years of study to gain. Randolph received the bronze level, which takes about a year to complete.

Randolph took several classes, including Facilitating Transformative Community Change and Building Democratic Capacity, before receiving the award. &uot;In the classes, I learned how to solve problems in the community by getting input from businesses and residents,&uot; Randolph said. &uot;You let them know that their input is important.&uot;

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Other classes taught Randolph various methods of improving a community. &uot;For example, Montgomery has a study about putting an amphitheater in its downtown,&uot; Randolph said. &uot;You try to market your downtown. If it’s marketed better, your businesses will prosper. It’s just getting people involved.&uot;

Randolph pointed to the Montgomery Mall as another example. According to Randolph, rumors abound that the mall may close down. However, instead of letting the building become an empty husk, it could be transformed into an outlet mall.

The leadership training classes were important because they help leaders become more effective, Randolph said. &uot;You always need continuing studies if you want to improve yourself,&uot; he added. &uot;The award shows that recipients have taken the time to better themselves in order to serve their constituents better.&uot;

Gathering in Washington D.C. gave Randolph, and all participants, an opportunity to network and share ideas. Randolph noted that cities often share the same problems. Selma might have a solution that a Midwest city didn’t, and vice versa. &uot;There’s always going to be an issue you’re dealing with in your hometown,&uot; Randolph said.

After completing the classes and receiving his award, Randolph said he plans on getting citizens more involved in their government. &uot;Our council meetings should be full all the time, not just when there’s a controversy,&uot; Randolph said. &uot;I plan on reaching out to the citizens.&uot;

As for the future, Randolph said he would continue taking continuing education classes. &uot;There’s always room for improvement,&uot; he added.