Types of Assistance and Examples of Projects
RESEARCH is a valuable experience for Miami's public administration students, as well as the community interested in seeking the level of citizen satisfaction, service delivery, and/or consumption patterns. Students learn "real world" applications of their local government and research statistics coursework; while, local leaders can take a "snapshot" approach to community opinions. Examples where students teams have developed the survey instrument, analyzed the findings, prepared a final report, and presented findings to local leaders include Oxford Township (Butler County), Village of Germantown (Montgomery County), and the Village of Williamsburg (Clermont County). Another survey was conducted in cooperation with the Hamilton County Office of Economic Development to assist Delhi Township (Hamilton County) in development efforts to revitalize the township's major business corridor.
COMPUTER AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT demands are a critical issue facing local governments. With the increased used of data, information management is a challenge. The computerization of accounting functions, service delivery, utility billing, dispatching, planning, zoning, and land and site inventories for development opportunities are common concerns. Center staff have also assisted with cemetery tracking and records management projects.
ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT efforts can be provided by the Center for communities that do not have a full-time development professional or they can support existing personnel or programs. The Center receives funding from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide project assistance to local governments who are facing either growth or decline.
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS are a tool to aid local government decision-making and many computer mapping applications are becoming more user friendly; Center staff can help with getting started, managing data, producing output, and utilizing spatial representations.
One response to change is STRATEGIC PLANNING. A variety of programs have been developed and facilitated by the professional staff of the Center. In the City of Clayton (Montgomery County), local leadership developed an issue agenda; in the Village of Union City (Darke County), a citizen advisory group was concerned with quality-of-life issues; and in West Milton (Miami County), the Community Improvement Corporation board members were interested in establishing goals and objectives.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAM EVALUATIONS have been provided to numerous communities, departments, and agencies. Examples include coordination of an executive search, charter reviews, job audits and distribution analysis, and forecasting of future financial demands and personnel needs.
The storage and management of records is a legal requirement for all local governments. The Center can provide expertise and assistance in developing a comprehensive and compliant RECORDS RETENTION program for your community.
An important function of local government is PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT; it is often the largest percentage of the operating budget. Assistance has been provided to numerous communities in the form of policies and procedures, position descriptions, performance appraisal systems and compensation schedules; examples include Fairfield Township (Butler County), Spring Valley Township (Greene County), and Crosby Township (Hamilton County). Other HUMAN RESOURCE management advice has been provided to agencies that require an external reviewer to perform job audits (Warren County Engineer's Office) and work distribution analysis (Benham's Grove Facility, City of Centerville).
Communities faced with PLANNING AND ZONING issues have received the following types of assistance: development of telecommunications ordinance for the City of Harrison (Hamilton County), review and update of zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans, training of board members, review of enforcement capacity, etc.