Montana State University

Local Government Center

Montana State University
P.O. Box 170535
Bozeman, MT 59717-0535

Tel: (406) 994-6694
Fax: (406) 994-1905
Location: 235 Culbertson


Dan Clark

Program Coordinator:

Ashley Kent

Local Government Center

Applied Policy Research

An important outcome of the Center's direct involvement with Montana's county and municipal governments has been the accumulation of experience and information about the critical issues facing small communities and their governments. The resulting perspective helps guide our applied research program and assures that our research remains focused on the real and immediate needs of Montana's local governments and the communities they serve.

Montana Policy Review

Montana Policy Review reports the results of the applied research programs sponsored by a variety of state and local government agencies and conducted by the Local Government Center. The Montana Policy Review is published by the Center twice yearly and circulated without charge to every unit of county and municipal government, all legislators and every public library in the state.

Montana Local Government Profiles

Montana Local Government Profiles is a comprehensive data base describing the demographic, fiscal and structural characteristics of each unit of local government in Montana. It is published annually and distributed without charge to every legislator, all units of local government and all public libraries in the state. The data base also serves to track indicators of change in the fiscal health of local government and is an invaluable research aid to academic and governmental researches. Copies will be sent to interested persons upon request as available.

Local Government Reviews

Local Government Review is a constitutionally mandated process which requires that, every ten years, the voters in each county and municipal jurisdiction decide whether or not they wish to review and / or change the form, powers and functions of their unit of local government and, if so, to elect a citizen study commission to undertake the two year study. The book "Montana's Local Government Review" by Kenneth L. Weaver and Judith A. Mathre documents the outcomes of all three cycles of Montana's local government review. Call Local Government Center for a copy: 406-994-6694. Training for study commissioners who will be elected in the November 2, 2004 general election will be conducted by the Local Government Center December 16 - 17, 2004.

Montana Mayors Academy

Montana Mayors Academy was initiated in February, 2004 in partnership with the Montana Municipal Insurance Authority and was funded by the Public Entity Risk Institute. The three days of intensive workshops and case study work is aimed at increasing the professional capacity of Montana Mayors with the intended result of improved efficiency, economy and equity in municipal government as well as reduced liability exposure which results from lack of training. The Academy was completed in May, 2004 in conjunction with the Montana Municipal Institute. The next Academy will be conducted in February, 2005, after new mayors are elected. is a new initiative at the Local Government Center to bring online data collection and program outreach. will be an online portal to surveys, registrations, classes and certifications, and supplemental information for the varying services of the Local Government Center.

Future Research Programs

The Local Government Center is continually in the process, with the MSU-Bozeman's Master's in Public Administration and the MSU-Extension Services Community Development, of planning new programs to bring relevent policy research to the local governments in Montana.