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The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin

Improving Government. Impacting Lives.

The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, Inc. is a not-for-profit, non-partisan corporation representing all citizens of Wisconsin at the local level. It was created to conduct research, enhance collaboration, and educate the public and policymakers on ways to improve local government’s ability to serve the people.

Latest News

Below find latest news and updates from LGI. 

Our Mission

Innovative Approaches to Community Engagement

LGI explores new strategies for engaging citizens in local governance and decision-making processes, fostering a sense of community and participation.

Sustainable Development and Green Infrastructure

LGI works to engage with initiatives and projects focused on sustainable development, green infrastructure, and environmental conservation efforts within local government systems.

Education and Outreach 

LGI engages with our citizenry to educate about the important role of local government in our communities. These outreach efforts include social media campaigns, online community engagement and web resources.

Cabins in the Countryside

About The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin

The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin is dedicated to serving as a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices in local governance in our state.


We work to facilitate discussions, provide resources, and promote collaboration among local government professionals and stakeholders.

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Fishing in Nature

Meet the LGI Board

Voting Board Members

  • Jerry Wehrle, (President), former Mayor, City of Lancaster; Public Board Member

  • Dennis O’Laughlin (Vice President), former Dane County Supervisor; Wisconsin Counties Association Representative

  • Jean Jacobson (Treasurer), Chair, Town of Norway, Racine County; Public Board Member

  • Larry MacDonald, former Mayor, City of Bayfield & Owner Cooper Hill House B&B; Public Board Member

  • William Mielke, CEO, Ruekert-Mielke; Public Board Member

  • Joseph Moore, City Manager, City of Fond du Lac; League of Wisconsin Municipalities Representative

  • Mike Pagel, Town Chair, Town of Lanark, Portage County; Wisconsin Towns Association Representative

  • Lance Pliml, County Board Chair, Wood County; Wisconsin Counties Association Representative

Non-Voting Board Members

  • Mark D. O’Connell, President & CEO, Wisconsin Counties Association

  • Jerry Deschane, Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

  • Mike Koles, Executive Director, Wisconsin Towns Association

Purpose: Collaborate with others to find solutions for the efficient delivery and funding of local government services consistent with the needs of our citizens.


The Local Government Institute is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of ten voting members—six “association directors” and four “public directors”. The six association directors consist of two directors appointed by the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA), two directors appointed by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities (LWM), one director appointed by the Urban Alliance of the League of Municipalities, and one director appointed by the Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA). The six association directors select the four “public directors”.


The Board of Directors elects the following officers: president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. All officers serve for one year. The heads of the three local government associations serve as non-voting members of the Board of Directors.



The Board of Directors may elect to establish Advisory Boards. The purpose of an Advisory Board is to advise the Board of Directors on matters requiring special expertise, knowledge or experience to enhance the ability of the Board of Directors to accomplish the mission of the Local Government Institute.

The Board of Directors meets bi-monthly.

“Collaboration and innovation are essential for building stronger and more resilient local governments, and it begins with each of us taking proactive steps towards positive change.”

― The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin

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