What is the Alabama League of Municipalities?
The Alabama League of Municipalities is a nonpartisan membership association of nearly 450 incorporated cities and towns. Since 1935, the League has worked to strengthen municipal government through advocacy, training and the advancement of effective local leadership. As the recognized voice of Alabama’s cities and towns, ALM’s member municipalities benefit from a variety of member programs, services and activities that are impossible to accomplish alone.
For more than 80 years, the League has served as the primary legislative advocate for Alabama’s municipalities, representing its members at the Alabama Legislature, in Congress and with numerous administrative agencies.
- ALM annually supports legislation that has state-wide impact on municipal government. Legislative priority initiatives are determined and approved by member municipalities at the yearly Legislative Committee meeting before the Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature.
- ALM staff members diligently monitor all legislative activities and actively work to defeat any legislation considered harmful to municipalities or the function of local government.
- ALM prepares and distributes a weekly e-newsletter, State House Advocate, throughout the Regular Session and during Special Sessions as necessary.
Guidance on Governing & Management
- ALM’s Legal Department responds to thousands of member inquiries each year ranging from simple sample municipal ordinance requests to complex questions requiring considerable research.
- The League’s website, www.alalm.org, provides a surplus of information on a variety of topics. The site is user-friendly, updated regularly and an invaluable resource for municipal officials and employees. The League also has an official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ALALM.
- The Alabama Municipal Journal is published and mailed six times per year to each mayor, councilmember, municipal clerk, municipal attorney and municipal judge. Previous issues of the Journal are also posted online at www.alalm.org.
- This Week, ALM’s weekly e-newsletter, is sent every Tuesday morning to subscribers and provides important meeting notices, upcoming training and conference information as well as other information pertinent to municipal officials and employees. (Subscribe to This Week from the home page of the League’s website at www.alalm.org.)
- ALM publishes a variety of useful reports, handbooks and surveys made available in electronic format to League members
- Handbook for Mayors and Councilmembers – a complimentary electronic copy is provided to each mayor, councilmember, municipal clerk, municipal attorney and municipal judge.
- Selected Readings for the Municipal Official – a complimentary electronic copy is provided to each mayor, councilmember, municipal clerk, municipal attorney and municipal judge.
- Handbook for Municipal Clerks – a complimentary electronic copy is provided to each municipal clerk.
- Yearly municipal salary surveys and an annual directory of municipal listings.
Training & Conferences
- In 1994, ALM established its Certified Municipal Official (CMO) training program, a voluntary educational service provided to mayors and councilmembers who wish to receive formal training in municipal government. Credit hours are earned by attending League CMO sessions as well as other approved League training, National League of Cities (NLC) conferences or through service on League committees and boards. Outside credit is also awarded for attendance at approved seminars. Officials who earn 40 credit hours in the program are awarded the designation of Certified Municipal Official (CMO). With an additional 40 credit hours, officials receive the Advanced CMO designation. A third designation, CMO Emeritus, recognizes mayors and councilmembers who have excelled beyond the requirements of the Basic and Advanced CMO Programs. CMO Emeritus is awarded to officials who have acquired a minimum of 120 credit hours of Continuing CMO Education plus 15 points. Points can be earned by participating on ALM policy committees and attending specific ALM and NLC events.
- Each spring, ALM hosts its annual Convention and Expo, providing timely general and concurrent sessions, access to municipal vendors and state agencies as well as outstanding networking opportunities for municipal officials and employees. A League convention and conference app is available as a free download under “ALM Events” via the Apple App Store and Google Play.
- All League-sponsored/endorsed training is posted at www.alalm.org and includes:
- Semi-annual training for municipal attorneys and judges via the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys (AAMA) and the Alabama Municipal Judges Association (AMJA).
- National League of Cities (NLC) meetings, conferences and training sessions.
- Risk Management training through the Loss Control Division (www.losscontrol.org), including seminars, Proactive Driver Training (SkidCar), Fire Arms Training System (FATS) and access to the Safety DVD Library.
Organization of the League
The League consists of the president, vice president and the executive committee, which is composed of five elected municipal officials from each of the state’s seven congressional districts, the active past presidents and the executive director. League officers and members of the executive committee are elected by the voting delegates at the annual convention.
In addition, six standing committees are charged with the review and development of League policies and goals which encompass a broad spectrum of issues affecting municipal government. The chair and vice chair of each of these standing committees are also elected annually at the convention. Committee members are selected by the respective committee chairs to provide representation from each congressional district and to ensure representation of cities and towns of all sizes on each committee. Besides developing policies and goals for the Alabama League, the standing committees are responsible for reviewing national municipal policy developed by the National League of Cities. Committee members, through our League representatives on NLC committees, may suggest amendments to the national policy during the annual Congress of Cities.
The League’s six standing committees are: State and Federal Legislation, which also serves as a resolutions and screening committee; Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations; Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; Community and Economic Development; Transportation, Public Safety and Communication; and Human Development. These committees meet annually with resource advisors to review existing League policy and the national policy and to adopt revised goals and recommendations in the respective areas of each committee.
The Committee on State and Federal Legislation meets before each Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature to consider the recommendations of the standing committees and to develop the League’s legislative program. This committee also carefully studies proposed legislation which may prove harmful to municipal government. While the Legislature is in session, the committee may meet to assess the progress of the League program and to review potentially dangerous legislation.
Cost-Saving Programs and Services
Over the years, ALM has created a number of programs and services to aid municipalities. In many cases, these programs save Alabama’s cities and towns a substantial amount of money each year.
- Since 1942, the Municipal Revenue Service has collected unpaid and escaped delinquent insurance license taxes from insurance companies doing business in Alabama’s municipalities.
- The Municipal Workers Compensation Fund, Inc. (MWCF) was established in 1976 to provide workers compensation insurance to municipalities, housing authorities, utility boards and other city and state agencies.
- The Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation (AMIC) was founded in 1989 as a mutual insurance company that writes all lines of insurance and is owned by its member municipalities.
- In 2002, AMIC and MWCF created a joint Loss Control Division to provide additional staff and expanded services at a much reduced cost to their members. The Loss Control Division has 11 dedicated staff members and offers a variety of services, including on site risk management reviews, an Employee Practices Law Hotline, a DVD Safety Library, regional and training programs on a number of loss prevention topics as well as exclusive, state-of-the-art training such as the SkidCar defensive driving program and the Firearms Training System (FATS).
- The Alabama Municipal Funding Corporation (AMFund) was created in 2006 to assist Alabama’s municipalities with refinancing existing debt and funding local projects and purchases through cost-effective financing.
- The Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys (AAMA) and the Alabama Municipal Judges Association (AMJA) are open for membership to municipal attorneys, prosecutors and judges and provide joint legal training twice a year.
- In January 2015, ALM launched League Law, an online legal research system allowing subscribers to search selected Alabama and federal cases affecting municipalities, including summaries of Alabama Attorney General’s opinions, Ethics Commission opinions and Alabama and federal court opinions.
- In late 2015, ALM launched Municipal Intercept Services (MIS), a debt intercept program designed to allow local governments to recover a portion of the outstanding debts they previously deemed lost from an individual’s State tax refund.
Participation in NLC
Since 1935, the Alabama League has been a member of the National League of Cities (NLC), our national counterpart. Members of our League are thereby entitled to participate in the annual City Summit where national municipal policy is formed and educational programs are conducted. Our members may become direct members of NLC if additional benefits and assistance are desired from the national organization. Throughout the years, Alabama municipal officials have been active in NLC.