Mayor Brett Barker and Nevada councilmen Luke Spence and Jason Sampson are among the 192 city officials across the state to be recognized for their participation in the 2017-18 Municipal Leadership Academy (MLA). The workshop series is conducted every other year after the regular municipal elections and is the only training opportunity that gives city officials in Iowa a broad-based look at the many aspects of city government. Topics covered during the workshop included council meeting procedures, city budgeting and economic development.

Over 500 city officials attended parts of the MLA workshops; however, to graduate an official needed to attend three out of four MLA sessions. Graduates receive a certificate and lapel pin honoring their completion of training.

MLA offers a comprehensive overview of municipal government and is presented by staff of the Iowa League of Cities and the Office of State and Local Government Programs at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.