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All day. Every Day. Local Government Works For You.

The sound of a siren revs up from the nearby fire station. Your children see the gleaming vehicle rush by while walking to the park, anxious to explore the new spiral playground slide. Passing the elementary school on the corner, you make a mental note to check the calendar for the next school board meeting to voice your support for a technology upgrade. You smile to yourself thinking about the upcoming weekend, remembering that it’s the large-item trash pickup date when you’ll finally be rid of your spouse’s old dormitory couch.

What do all of these things have in common?

They are all small parts of everyday life across Missouri, yet each contributes to your well-being. Together, they are part of a foundation for strong communities that serve citizens around the clock. In fact, they often serve so well, they’re easy to overlook until a crisis occurs.

Sometimes we forget that our local governments are at work 24/7 in our communities. Local government touches nearly every aspect of our lives – from the police officers patrolling our neighborhoods while we sleep and public safety workers driving ambulances and providing fire protection, to the workers who maintain your county roads or keep clean water coming out of your tap each morning. From the waste hauler making door-to-door pickups to the school board setting policy for your school district, local government matters.

Each entity has its own mission. But as local officials continually work together, amazing things happen.

A vibrant example of local government results shines with the City of Joplin, fast approaching the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado that ripped through the community and tragically took 161 lives. Looking back at footage of the devastated neighborhoods, shopping districts and landmarks, it’s incredible to see how much recovery has taken place over one year.

The power of partnership among city government, county government, the school district and others can be credited with a significant portion of this success. Immediately following the tornado, the City opened its Emergency Operations Center and all departments worked together to begin serving residents with basic needs and coordinating top priorities.

Citizens play an essential role in bringing results as well. As the community in Joplin redevelops, community leaders and citizens have joined together to form the Community Advisory Recovery Team (CART), providing each citizen an opportunity to share ideas for Joplin’s future.

Joplin is not the only city with a coordinated foundation of services and communication in place. Each month in Branson, elected officials and local governmental entities meet to discuss current projects and concerns. Those at the table include officials from counties, cities, school districts and critical partners in addition to state and federal elected officials. This ongoing communication allows communities to identify key issues before a crisis occurs and be prepared to serve effectively.

Over the last year, local government entities across Missouri have collaborated with IT needs, recovery from floods, disaster strategies and effective communication campaigns.

When we work together, we’re stronger.

Local Government Week is April 30 – May 4. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about your local government and how it serves you.

We encourage you to take a moment and recognize the successes happening each day with your city, county, school boards and other local entities. Consider a way you might become involved yourself, or simply take some time to thank your local officials.

Visit to watch a video where we discuss all of the ways local government benefits your life each day.

All day. Every day. Local government works for you.

Dan Ross, Executive Director, Missouri Municipal League
Dick Burke, Executive Director, Missouri Association of Counties
Dr. Carter Ward, Executive Director, Missouri School Boards Association

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