On May 21, Bessemer Council President Jesse Matthews was elected by his municipal colleagues to serve as President of the Alabama League of Municipalities for 2018-2019. He was elected and took office during the League’s annual convention, which was held in Montgomery May 19-22.
League Executive Director Ken Smith looks forward to working with Council President Matthews over the next year. “Jesse has been actively involved with the League for many years,” Smith said. “He has served on a number of League committees, including our Executive Committee, and is the a past chair of our Committee on State and Federal Legislation. He has also been very active with the National League of Cities, serving on its Board of Directors as well as several policy committees. His municipal knowledge and leadership skills have been an asset to our organization. He will serve us well as President.”
During his acceptance speech, Council President Matthews thanked his municipal colleagues for the honor to serve as president and emphasized the importance of unity: “We must not be negatively affected by politics or personal opinions. Instead, our goal should always be to stay focused, work together and maintain open lines of communication while developing effective policies that address municipal needs. We should always work together as a team. It is only through our joint efforts that we can promote the noble goals of this organization. The League’s importance can never be understated. We must have the clarity of vision to separate the essential from the desirable and the courage to attack those challenges necessary to move our cities forward.”
Council President Matthews is a former board member for the National League of Cities (NLC) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Municipal Workers Compensation Fund, Inc. (MWCF), a program created by the League in 1976. In addition, has completed the League’s Basic, Advanced and Emeritus Certified Municipal Official (CMO) programs. CMO Emeritus is awarded to officials who have acquired a minimum of 120 credit hours of Continuing CMO Education through a series of one-day programs designed especially for mayors and councilmembers who voluntarily wish to receive formal training in municipal government. Emeritus status also requires earning a total of 15 points, which can be achieved by participating on ALM policy committees and attending specific ALM and NLC events. Through these programs, Councilmember Matthews has received formal classroom training in subjects such as council meeting procedures; parliamentary procedure; the Open Meetings Law; public records; ordinance drafting; conflicts of interest; the State Ethics Law; duties of the mayor and council; tort liability; the competitive bid law; zoning and planning; annexation; municipal regulatory powers; municipal revenues and expenditures; personnel actions; and leadership development.