Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer


Wright State University Offering Public Sector Scholarship

Wright State University is now offering a public sector scholarship available to federal, state, and local government employees interested in the Master of Public Administration Program.

Wright State’s M.P.A. program now has three tracks: general, criminal justice, and social issues.

Public Sector Scholarship details:
Wright State is offering a limited number of Public Sector Scholarships for federal, state, and local government employees for Fall Semester 2023. These scholarships cover 50 percent of tuition for the two-year program length. The scholarship priority deadline is April 1, 2023. However, applications will be accepted until mid-August. You should provide official confirmation of your employment to program director Daniel Warshawsky and submit your M.P.A. application through the Graduate School website. You will automatically be considered for the scholarship when your application is received.

Weblink Here:

Daniel Warshawsky contact information:
Tel: (937) 775-2845 |

Unlocking Opportunity: Ohio’s Brownfield Remediation Fund Awards & The Benefit of Brownfields

The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) has released Unlocking Opportunity: Ohio’s Brownfield Remediation Fund Awards & The Benefit of Brownfields. This white paper examines the $341 million awarded through all three rounds of the Brownfield Remediation Fund. The white paper also makes the case for allocating another $500 million to the program in the next state Operating Budget. 

Passed in the FY22-23 Main Operating Budget, the Brownfield Remediation Fund (BRF) invested $341 million in environmental cleanup through grants awarded in 2022. Projects are underway to assess, cleanup, and revitalize brownfields in 83 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Alison Goebel, Executive Director, said, “We commend the Ohio Legislature for making the most significant investment in brownfields in nearly a decade, and look forward to the economic impact these projects will have for Ohio’s communities.” 

In total, the Brownfield Remediation Fund granted $341 million to 313 projects. Eighty-three of Ohio’s 88 counties were awarded grant dollars for 188 clean-up projects and 125 assessments. In total, nearly 98% of Ohio’s population resides within counties that received grant awards. 

Aaron Clapper, Senior Manager of Outreach and Projects, and author of the white paper said, “The anticipated end uses for the remediated sites are impressive. We are excited about the mixed-use, affordable housing, transit, and new industrial sites that communities are planning for these cleaned sites.” 

Starting Simple in Performance Management

By By Raman A. Shah, Ph.D. from ICMA Blog

“We should measure impact, not output.”

Across the public and nonprofit sectors, every time I’ve suggested implementing operational reporting as a management tool, I’ve heard this rebuttal. I doubt I’ve ever waited more than 15 seconds to hear it. In local government, this mostly comes up in relation to strategic planning—writing a new strategic plan or tracking progress toward an existing one.

Output looks inward, at operations. As an example of output measurement, a city may count the feet of bicycle lanes it builds. Impact looks outward, at society. As an example of impact measurement, the city may track the growth in bicycle ridership.

It’s common sense that impact is what ultimately matters; a badly routed bicycle lane might be worthless. Unfortunately, impact is slow to appear and hard to measure. It depends on the same messy internal data that powers output measurement. I’ve found that measuring output with precision and regularity is practically a prerequisite to trustworthy impact measurement.

Impact measurement is slow

Impact can be slow to appear because services can take a long time to soak in and change lives. A bicycle lane might take years to achieve full impact as residents’ habits and possessions evolve to use it. That’s in addition to the time needed for analysis, so the lead time for impact measurement is generally long regardless of the tools at your disposal.

Contrast this with counting the feet of bicycle lane. Perhaps two construction companies are working on bicycle lanes, and you find that one is moving three times faster than the other. Is the faster vendor cutting corners, or is it more efficient? (Both? Neither?) Following up could deliver vital value for residents, days or weeks after work commences—if good output measurement infrastructure is in place.

Impact measurement is hard

In the meetings where it’s suggested to measure impact and not output, the idea is to run a survey before and after service delivery. The change in the results is the impact. Easy, right?

This doesn’t work because the world changes and doesn’t look the same everywhere.

If the world were perfectly static, the simple survey idea could work. But sometimes a professional cyclist becomes a national hero, and everyone buys a bicycle; sometimes they fall into scandal, and the bicycles start collecting dust.

Nominate A Person or Project for an OCMA and ICMA Award Today

Nominations are currently being accepted for OCMA’s Annual Awards that will be announced at the OCMA Annual Conference April 5-7. Help recognize the work of local government professionals by nominating a peer or your community for one of these awards. Categories of potential nomination include: Placemaking, Redevelopment Projects, Career Achievement, Career Development & Mentoring, Innovation in Local Government, Citizen Participation, Intergovernmental Cooperation, and Profiles in Courage. Detailed information and the nomination form can be found on the OCMA website Annual Awards page.

In addition, ICMA has announced its Local Government Excellence Awards process that celebrates the value of professional management and honor creative contributions to professional local government leadership. These awards highlight public awareness of the value of professional management, and its impact on the quality of life in our communities. Help bring awareness to Ohio projects and professionals by submitting a nomination.

Professional Awards are presented to individuals for:

Outstanding Local Government Programs are recognized in these areas:

Making the Leap from ACAO to CAO

By Jeff Wechbach, Colerain Township Township Administrator. Originally published in PM Magazine

It’s 2pm on a Friday before a holiday weekend. You are at a local chamber of commerce event when your boss, the chief administrative officer (CAO), pulls you aside for a walk and talk. Your head starts to sift through the various personnel issues and complaints that the community is dealing with, thinking that this talk is going to somehow be related to one of those items. Instead, you are hit with a curve ball as you quickly learn that your boss has taken a job in the private sector and their last day is less than a month away.

I wish I could say that the coming months would be easy. In my case, I was the only assistant chief administrative officer (ACAO) for our community. My contract with our elected board stated that I would be appointed as the interim administrator in the event of a vacancy in the CAO role. Thankfully that meant that I had the clarity to know I would be an interim for some time while our elected board determined a course of action. However, I still had to figure out if I would want to apply for the CAO role, and if so, what would I do differently? How would I manage the work in the interim capacity knowing that there are only so many hours in the day?

As I sit here today, I am fortunate to have been promoted to the CAO role and found excellent individuals to serve as the ACAO for my organization. However, as I reflect on the past several months, I realize that I learned a lot during the transition. While all of these points may not translate to every transition, some of these might be helpful to someone who is just having an unexpected walk and talk.

1. Strengthen Your Relationship with Department Directors

First and foremost, work to earn the respect of department directors now. If you haven’t spent a great deal of time working directly with your department directors or if you have some friction with them, use the time as the ACAO to mend fences and build connections. Elected officials are going to call the other members of the leadership team to get their perspective on your abilities, and their opinion will influence the decision on hiring you as the CAO.

Ohio Using Quality of Life As Economic Development Tool

A growing handful of Midwestern cities, like Columbus, Ohio, Traverse City, Michigan, and Carmel, Indiana, are reaching beyond traditional incentives for recruiting business and industry, focusing on how to expand their populations by promoting the region as a good place to live.

“This is probably the fastest-growing innovation in economic development for 50 years,” said economist Michael Hicks, a professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he runs the Center for Business and Economic Research

The county in Indiana with the strongest population growth—Hamilton—for instance, is “almost exclusively trying to attract people,” Hicks said. With four mid-sized cities, including Carmel, the county’s 350,000-plus population has a median household income of around $100,000 and officials are projecting consistent job gains over the next five years. The county and its cities consistently make “best places to live” lists because of the quality of public schools, amenities for singles, the health of the population and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Parts of the Midwest served as longtime anchors for U.S. manufacturing, but saw declines in recent decades as jobs moved overseas or to Southern states where companies see factors like fewer labor unions, lower taxes and cheaper land as upsides. Meanwhile, coastal cities like Boston, San Francisco and Seattle served as magnets for firms and talent in the tech sector. 

The emerging focus on attracting people who can provide the foundation for a solid workforce in the region stands in contrast to other approaches to economic development, which can often prioritize policies like tax breaks for companies to build factories or warehouses.

But as economics professor Amanda Weinstein of the University of Akron’s College of Business, in Ohio, noted, “We are increasingly seeing the jobs move to people rather than the people move to jobs.”

The rise of remote work adds another twist, allowing professionals in some fields to work anywhere and giving communities across the country a chance to lure them in.

Weinstein, like some other economists, advises local governments to invest in and promote quality-of-life amenities, along with health care and education, to help retain residents and attract out-of-staters looking to relocate to affordable, family-friendly communities.

City Health Dashboard Provides Data and Insights Into Community Health

A partnership between New York University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing new insights into community health data in cities and states across the country. The City Health Dashboard aims to make neighborhood level data easily accessible to drive action to improve the nation’s health.

Communities can find it difficult to access data at the census track or city level. The City Health Dashboard aims to simplify and streamline this process to identify health outcomes including the current physical and mental health of a community, and health factors that are driving outcomes in the physical environment. Metrics include social and economic factors, health behaviors and access to medical care.

This data has also been used to evaluate gun violence as a public health crisis, which has been increasing in recent years. In partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the City Health Dashboard has added new metrics to demonstrate the impact that guns are having on communities: firearm homicides and firearm suicides. These measures mark the first time that CDC-collected death records have been analyzed to the city level for hundreds of cities across the country. Among the findings, the data has shown that four out of every ten gun-related deaths in cities nationally were suicides, an 11 percent increase since 2014. City leaders can move communities in the right direction, and these data can be the first step. Explore new gun violence data for your city on the dashboard. 

Colerain Township Awarded Gold Designation from SolSmart

Colerain Township has been awarded a SolSmart Gold designation for our efforts to make it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar! We are proud to be recognized as a national leader in advancing solar energy.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, SolSmart recognizes cities and counties for cutting red tape and making solar more affordable and accessible for homes and businesses. We are committed to reducing solar energy costs at the local level and encouraging even more homes and businesses to use this clean, affordable energy source. The SolSmart Gold designation recognizes that we are “open for solar business,” helping to attract solar industry investment that generates economic development and jobs. 

Colerain Township recently announced that it will be installing 60 solar panels on the roof of the Community Center. These panels are expected to generate 29% of the total electric used at the Community Center, resulting in a reduction in electric bill costs of $8,000 per year. The return on investment for this product is estimated at 12 years, barring any inflation in electric rates. Given the 25-year warranty, this will result in an estimated total savings of 13 years of electric at the Community Center which amounts to $104,000 dollars. This return on investment is much higher for this project than the rate of return on investing the Township’s idle cash. 

Additionally, Colerain Township works with residents on issuing certificates to make solar installation easier for people who live in our area. In fact, nearly a dozen solar installation certificates were issued in the month of July alone! 

SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 450 municipalities, counties, and regional organizations have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016. 

SolSmart provides free technical assistance to help local governments reduce obstacles to solar energy development. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity through solar. Colerain Township is helping local communities coordinate on setting goals and strategies for sustainable energy growth. 

SolSmart also helps communities streamline local procedures to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This can include adjusting permitting, planning, and zoning requirements to reduce obstacles to solar energy use while meeting other community development goals.  

SolSmart uses objective criteria to award points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Organizations that take sufficient action are designated either Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Interested parties can learn more at

Article website

Centerville Cornerstone Park Ready for the Spotlight

The new Cornerstone Park is near completion, boasting an entertainment plaza, observation pier and art sculpture.

The park, which sits along the water near Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, is a key component of the Cornerstone development near Interstate 675 and Feedwire Road.

The park has two components, including an 11-acre passive area with benches and walking trails that preserves a headwater stream. The active portion has a pavilion area designed to create a relaxing atmosphere for visitors and customers of nearby restaurants like Bagger Dave’s and Cheddar’s.

“It has been City Council’s vision to incorporate a beautiful piece of parkland to complement the overall Cornerstone project,” Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis said.

Cornerstone Developers LLC, led by CEO George Oberer of Oberer Companies, constructed all improvements in the active and passive park areas. In the future, the City will be responsible for one-third of the maintenance costs and two-thirds will be funded through contributions from property owners’ associations that currently maintain most of the public property at Cornerstone.

The City received $1 million in Clean Ohio grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission to conserve the passive parkland.

“This park will be an asset for businesses and residents of Cornerstone. For years, it has been a magnet for many first-in-region retail and restaurant interest,” George Oberer said.

“The addition of Cornerstone Park contributes to making this successful development a destination place and shows the City’s commitment to expand, as well as improve, our amenities for businesses, residents and visitors,” Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said.

The 18-foot-tall public art piece titled ‘Celebration’ was designed by artist Stephen Canneto. It features an image of several figures crafted from brushed stainless steel and dichroic glass. The glass sphere changes colors depending on the time of day and viewing angle. That same glass is used on the shade structure in the plaza area. 

The Centerville Arts Commission is planning a ribbon cutting for the park. Details will be shared as soon as they are available.