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Insight Of An Intern - Post #1

Inspiring leaders of tomorrow is the key reason that Springfield Township participates in the Ohio Public Leader Fellowship program with Miami University.  The Ohio Public Leader Fellowship program provides students with a practical, co-curricular experience that enhances their understanding of the inner-workings of state and local government institutions. Students accepted into the program receive paid fellowships through Miami University that are selectively assigned to state or local government institutions or to related public or non-profit agencies throughout Ohio. The fellowships support special projects that are designed to meet the needs of partner agencies and the professional interests of Ohio Public Leaders.

Now in the Township's third year of the program, we thought it would be special to share a bit of the experience with the community. For the next few weeks, Springfield Township is hosting Nicole Laking, who is in her senior year majoring in Political Science and Economics. We have asked Nicole to write short "blog posts" about her time learning and experiencing the different departments in Springfield Township. We invite you to follow Nicole on her journey through a short series of posts over three weeks.

Nicole Laking - Week 1 Post

This week, I joined Springfield Township administration for the first three days of my fellowship. On my first day, everyone welcomed me into the office with open arms and I started to get a closer look into how the township operates. There are so many things I am learning and experiencing that have surprised me, and because of these my perspectives on local government have already started to change.

I was surprised by the amount of issues that fall under the umbrella of the administration including things I would never expect, such as foreclosed houses and an old cemetery. The umbrella spans far and wide. Because of this, you never know what is going to come up that day, but you have to be prepared to tackle it.

The biggest thing that surprised me this week was the amount of legal restrictions that local government must operate within and how they reach the tiniest of details, like the width of a curb. It is common to critique the government by saying that it should operate more like a business but, in many cases, it cannot operate that way due to these legal restrictions. The local government has to make the best out of the restrictions through creative solutions.

This week, I’ve also had the opportunity to take a peek into the fire department. I sat in on one of the fire department’s medic refreshers that they are required to complete every three years and include over 48 hours of training. This specific refresher was on cardiology, and I’ll just say I have never felt safer than I felt sitting with them. The fire department is full of friendly, committed people that have more experience and knowledge than the average group, and they are more than capable of saving lives.

Another thing that really interested me this week was ArtsConnect. ArtsConnect is a non-profit organization, which means that is does not use taxpayer dollars to operate, but still is able to offer a plethora of activities. It offers theatre performances, art shows, a concert series, WinterFest, and art classes for music, ceramics, sewing, painting, drawing, stained glass, and woodworking. With the world being as stressful as it can be, having access to art and activities is a valuable release. Springfield Township’s commitments to the arts, nature, and quality of the community have truly impressed me, and I am excited and eager for the days to come.