Most leadership academies sponsored by cities across the country provide a lecture-style overview of local government services. A city staff member will stand up in front of a group of residents and share the importance and effectiveness of the services they provide. Many times, it is only designed to persuade the participants that local government is a value for their money.

The Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy (MCLA) is receiving national recognition for being something different. At MCLA, we try to do things a little more creatively. First is the mistaken notion that the local government has all the answers. The City views MCLA as an opportunity to engage in a two-way dialogue with residents, seeing residents as a valuable resource in refining services, and planning for the future. MCLA participants are partners in struggling with the tough questions facing the community. Workshops are designed to harvest the aggregate knowledge and experiences of Montgomery’s most important stakeholders.

Secondly, we believe that local government is a “subset” of the broader community. Neighborhoods, businesses, schools, religious institutions, and others are all equally important. That is why MCLA calls on some of our community partners such as Ohio National Financial Services, Sycamore Community Schools, Bethesda North Hospital, and Twin Lakes Senior Living Community, to share their stories with the participants. The City, with these partners, seeks to provide a well-rounded experience for those wishing to “look behind the curtain” of our Montgomery community.

MCLA is receiving national attention for this creative approach. So, if you are interested in applying for MCLA 2021, click here, or call Ray Kingsbury, director of citizen engagement, at 513-792-8359.