In October 2000, the MSU College of Letters & Science, the Political Science Department, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs entered into an agreement that formalized the relationship between MSU Extension and the Local Government Center. MSU Extension has provided significant support to the Local Government Center. In 2006, Extension Director and Vice Provost Douglas Steele placed Dr. Paul Lachapelle, Community Development Specialist, in the Local Government Center. This has resulted in a very productive partnership, including collaboration on trainings for local elected officials and publications.
The Local Government Center has developed a number of external partners to collaborate in fulfilling the purpose of the Center.
Montana Association of Counties
Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority
The Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority (MMIA) collaborates with the Local Government Center to provide the Montana Mayors Academy, Montana Mayors Forum, and the Jim Tillotson Service Program, a training for city attorneys.
Montana Municipal Clerks Treasurers & Finance Officers Association
The Montana Municipal Clerks Treasurers & Finance Officers Association (MMCT&FOA) has worked with the Local Government Center to administer the Montana Municipal Institute for the past 18 years. This 3-year certification program, which includes 40-hours of instruction annually, is approved by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and by the national Municipal Treasurers Association.
Montana Association of Clerks of District Court
The Montana Association of Clerks of District Court (MACDC) adopted a certification program developed by the Local Government Center.
Montana County Treasurers Association
The Local Government Center administers a yearly Treasurers Certification School for the MCTA.
Montana Sheriffs & Peace Officers
Local Government Center staff have periodically provided ethics training at the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers semi-annual Institute. Additionally, an issue of the Montana Policy Review dealt with ethics issues for the training of their officers.
Horizons Across Montana
Horizons Across Montana is a community leadership program funded through the Northwest Area Foundation aimed at reducing poverty in small rural and reservation communities. The Local Government Center, in partnership with MSU Extension Services, is providing assistance and support to various communities across Montana participating in the Horizons Program.
The Interoperability Montana (IM) Project is a state-wide emergency service provider and law enforcement communication system funded through the Department of Homeland Security and National Governor’s Association grants. The Local Government Center is working with the IM Project in developing a permanent governance structure by establishing its legal authority, developing organizational objectives and components, identifying policy goals, improving its administration and coordination of activities, and establishing funding mechanisms for the project. This work will assist to define the vision of the IM Project and governance structure that addresses the nature, scope and objectives of governance.
The Local Government Center collaborates with IM Project Governance Committee to provide research of various governing structures to provide recommendations for the most effective/efficient organizational development tools and mechanisms; define roles and responsibilities in establishing, administering and planning for a permanent governance structure organization; draft and negotiate inter-local agreements and Memorandum of Understanding with other state and federal agencies to include their formal participation and as funding partners for operational/technical support of the IM Project; develop and write the State Communication Interoperability Plan for the Project; and provide outreach and public information communication and activities to local government officials across the state. This will include the publishing of an entire issue of the Montana Policy to Interoperability Communications.