History of the Center

History of the Center for Local Government

The Center for Local Government was established in July, 1990, as the outgrowth of a two-year study of the production and delivery of public services in the Greater Cincinnati area. The study, funded by The Gannett Foundation and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, resulted in publication of the first Directory of Public Services in this area, which provides, among other things, a reference on local public services production.

The Directory of Public Services was especially valuable to public managers; their enthusiastic response led to discussions about other areas where improved information could be of value. These discussions resulted in the establishment of The Center for Local Government, which continues to serve as the focal point for gathering and disseminating such data.

The Center for Local Government was formed as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization supported through a combination of membership fees, grants from foundations and corporations, and revenues from fee-based services.  The original membership of the Center consisted of 13 governments.  Membership consisted of Cities, Villages and Townships located in two counties.

While the early mission of the Center for Local Government focused on data sharing, as the organization grew it took on additional tasks revolving around training and shared services.  One of the earliest shared services programs was the Public Works Mutual Aid Pact, which provides public works resources to communities who experience a disaster.  This program is still in use today.  Another early program that is still in use today was the Judgmental Use of Force Training Simulator collaborative, which brought together a number of police agencies within the Center membership to share training resources.

The Center continued to grow over the years, gaining new programs and members.  In the 2000s, the Center for Local Government Benefits Collaborative (CLGBC) formed.  This was a fully insured purchasing collaborative for health insurance, which evolved into today’s Self Insured Pool.At the same time, the Center launched OhioCAF, which is the Center’s only state-wide program, and provides opportunities for governments to collaborate with each other on small capital financings.  The Center also entered into a training partnership called the Municipal Training Academy, along with the Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) and the Miami Valley Risk Management Association (MVRMA). 

By the end of the 2000s, the Center’s membership had grown to over 50 governments in six counties.  New programs also came online, such as the solid waste collection consortium (SWORRE) and the Treasury Asset Management Collaborative.The Center will continue to grow by adding new programs and new members.  The Center, its Board and staff are looking forward evolving the Center into the future.