It's not unlike hundreds of other professional organizations to which professional people belong. Over the years, I have paid for membership to the NCTE -- National Council of Teachers of English. As soon as my check cleared, I was considered a MEMBER of that organization. That meant I could tap into resources to aid in the betterment of my teaching. I could communicate with other professionals engaged in the same work I do. I could read about other successful programs and learn from them.
What it didn't give me was the ability to have NCTE claim I was a wonderful teacher simply because I was a member.
The ICMA is no different. City leaders can join at various financial levels based on their salary in order to receive the following benefits:
- Access to the latest information, trends, and innovative solutions
- Connection with colleagues committed to the same mission you are
- Support and professional development matched to each stage of one's career
- Recognition of individual and community contributions
Nowhere in the information I've found on the ICMA website does it say that being a member means that when your city HIRES the ICMA to do an independent review of your policies and practices they will give you what you want to hear.
Nowhere does it guarantee that being a member means you are paying them to tell you that you are doing a good job.
Being a member of the ICMA means nothing more than a doctor belonging to the AMA, an English teacher belonging to the NCTE, or a sorority sister/frat brother belonging to his/her local Greek society.
It's resume fodder...it's resource material to aid in one's performance.
Anyone who claims that Johs Szerlag's membership in ICMA makes the report invalid is, quite frankly, IGNORANT, MISINFORMED, AND DANGEROUS.