Fact Sheet for Required Education for First Time Elected and Appointed Officials
Municipal officials elected or appointed to an office for the first time are required by state statute to attend an institute for municipal officials. If a person has previously been elected or appointed to an office, he or she is exempt from the law. Failure to attend an institute within one year after taking the oath of office results in the official ceasing to hold office.
The statute at 11 O.S. Section 8-114 establishes education requirements to include but not be limited to: Open Meetings Act, Open Records Act, municipal budget requirements, ethics, conflict of interest, and purchasing procedures. It also requires that the institute be held at a minimum of six regional locations with every effort to be made to accommodate long-distance learning.
Who Does the Act Apply To?
Q: Who falls under the mandatory education requirements for municipal officials?
A: Each person elected or appointed as an officer of a municipality for the first time shall be required within one (1) year after taking the oath of office to attend an institute for municipal officials.
Q: So, if I was reelected or reappointed am I required to be trained?
A: No. It only applies to those elected or appointed for the first time.
Q: Does the Act only apply to governing body members?
A: No. The Act also applies to those elected or appointed for the first time as a municipal officer as defined in 11 O.S. § 1-102, paragraph. 6.
Q: Does this mean the Act applies to clerks and treasurers and any other municipal elected officials?
A: Yes, if they are elected or appointed for the first time.
Q: Is our appointed municipal attorney considered a municipal officer?
A: No. When officer or official is modified by a term which refers to a personnel position or duty, the holder of the position or duty is not an officer or official of the municipality for any purpose. If you are unsure, consult with your municipal attorney.
Q: Does the act apply to elections held under the Town Meeting Act?
What are the Options for Training, Dates and Places?
Q: Is specialized training required?
A: Yes. It must be an institute conducted in accordance with state law.
Q: Does OML qualify as a trainer?
Q: Has OML scheduled training around the state?
A: Yes. Check OML’s web site at www.oml.org or our weekly Municipal Insight.
Please Note: This summary is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult your city or town attorney prior to taking any action based on this document.