ICMA / Membership / Benefits / Senior Advisor Program

The ICMA Senior Advisor Program  

The ICMA Senior Advisor Program makes the, experience, advice, and support of respected, retired managers of the profession available to members.

The ICMA Senior Advisor program (formerly Range Rider Program *) is a joint activity of ICMA and state sponsors established by the ICMA Executive Board in 1974 to make the counsel, experience, and support of respected, retired managers of the profession available to members.  Currently almost 90 Senior Advisors in 22 states provide a highly valued service by volunteering their time to offer confidential professional and personal support and advice.  

Senior Advisors are selected jointly by the state sponsor and the ICMA Executive Director.  Although they are expected to be visible, accessible and responsive to members and association needs, Senior Advisors are unpaid volunteers who pursue other activities while in retirement and thus are not “full time.” Expenses are shared by ICMA and the sponsoring state organization.  The expenses allocated depend on the size of the state, the number of Senior Advisors and funds available from the sponsors. 

Senior Advisors are available to meet periodically with members in their states or areas to discuss the profession and their concerns as members. Discussion topics range from relations with elected officials, overall management questions, relations with ICMA, responses to local controversies such as referenda on the council-manager plan, to career development. 

Senior Advisors are friends, colleagues, and advisors to the profession—not consultants. The Senior Advisor program is designed to help with personal and professional issues, not to provide technical assistance or solve substantive problems in a local government.  However, Senior Advisors may consult with local governments as individuals, on a part-time basis, as long as the consulting does not impair the effectiveness of the Senior Advisors. Senior Advisor guidelines contain advice for Senior Advisors who do part-time consulting.

Senior Advisors may also help communities interested in creating a professional local government management position, including adoption of council-manager government.

Members with questions on the Senior Advisor program can contact Senior Advisor Program Coordinator Greg Bielawski at 630/462-1876 or e-mail gbielawski@icma.org.

*2013-2014 Program Review

As part of a review of the program in its 40th year, the ICMA Executive Board, in February 2014,, approved changing the name from Range Riders to Senior Advisors to better describe the role and its primary emphasis on providing members with advice and support. 

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