Councilor Rick Reiss Heads For Boot Camp

Newly appointed Councilor Rick Reiss leaves this morning for ‘County Governance Boot Camp.’  Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved funding to send newly appointed Councilor Rick Reiss to the New Mexico Association of Counties’ “County Governance Boot Camp” at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque today through Friday. The cost for the boot camp is $145.

The three-day boot camp is administrered through New Mexico EDGE (Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the Public Sector), which is an umbrella organization operated through New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service under which the County College (founded with New Mexico Association of Counties), the New Mexico Certified Public Manager® Program, and other continuing education certification programs are administered.

The idea behind the NM EDGE is to expand training programs beyond county government into other areas of the public sector such as municipal entities, state agencies and other public-oriented organizations that have a need for specialized training.

In 2008, the NMSU Department of Government became a regular partner in County College and offered to develop the nationally recognized Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program in conjunction with Cooperative Extension Service’s County College.

With assistance from the Director of the Master in Public Administration (MPA) program at NMSU, a new core curriculum committee was developed and began work on the backbone of the NM CPM curriculum.

After developing the NM CPM affiliate-specific curriculum committees were created to address educational programs to meet their operational and professional development needs. Customized curriculum continues to be developed for groups requesting a certification program that can tie into the NM CPM.

Since 2003 when classes were first offered, 5,000 class units have been delivered with nearly 2,000 in 2010 alone. Participants in County College and NM CPM classes receive NMSU Continuing Education Units for each three-hour class unit.

Of those attending classes, nearly 100 individuals have earned the Certified Public Official designation, the first level of the certification program by completing 18 classes in fields such as knowing your government, management and human resources.

Several students have also completed the second level certification to earn the Certified Public Supervisor designation and many of those students are working towards earning their Certified Public Manager® designation.

With the help and support of Dr. Jon Boren, Associate Dean and Director of NM CES and Paul Gutierrez, NMAC Executive Director, the program continues to grow and evolve. Under the umbrella of NM EDGE, the opportunity is emerging to help other public sector entities have a better educated workforce and thus Better Government through Education.

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