Local Government

Local Government

Taft Local Government attorneys work closely with local government representatives to keep them apprised of regulatory and statutory changes and to assist in problem solving on difficult issues that public entities face daily, such as revenue generation, service delivery, tax exemptions, construction, inter-governmental agreements, jurisdictional boundaries, labor and employee-related matters. Similarly, we represent quasi-governmental organizations such as the zoos and port authorities, providing a wide range of legal services.

For public sector entities, such as townships, municipalities, zoos and port authorities, a delicate balance exists between delivering services taxpayers expect and managing costs responsibly as revenue steadily shrinks in today’s distressed economy. Compounding the situation are increasingly complex regulatory and statutory compliance requirements. Our attorneys help clients streamline service delivery and identify additional sources of revenue whenever possible. We stay abreast of regulatory and statutory requirements, keeping our clients informed and handling compliance matters so that they can focus on their day-to-day obligations.

Our solid public law background has helped us become trusted counsel for government leaders in ways few other law firms have been able to accomplish. Several of our attorneys have served in the capacity of solicitor to municipalities and legal advisors to townships, providing everyday, ongoing guidance to the respective elected and appointed officials. We also work with our clients as part of their team, regularly acting as special counsel to municipalities, townships, municipal associations, municipal utilities, municipal utility joint ventures, county convention facilities authorities and other political subdivisions. For more than 25 years, our attorneys have represented public entities as they undertake public construction projects, such as firehouses, community buildings, park development or road paving, and we’ve guided them in eminent domain actions and tax exemptions for park and publicly owned properties. We provide guidance and advice in the areas of zoning, economic development, tax increment financing and annexation. Our public sector clients also look to us for counsel on employee-relations issues, including collective bargaining, labor and employment-related litigation. Our team also provides guidance in the more specialized fields of utilities, regulatory compliance, public safety and environmental law. The depth of our experience in the public sector law helps our clients get the results they need in an expeditious manner.

Experienced and noted throughout the legal industry, our attorneys have been recognized nationally by respected peer-review organizations such as Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®. Further, our attorneys have been given a First Tier ranking in Columbus, Ohio, for our Municipal Law practice by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers.

Taft represents local government and quasi-government entities, including:

  • Municipalities.
  • Townships.
  • Municipal associations.
  • Municipal utilities.
  • Municipal utility joint ventures.
  • County convention facilities authorities.
  • Airport authorities.
  • Zoos.
  • Regional port authorities.

Our Services

For municipalities, townships, municipal utilities, port authorities and other local government or quasi-government entities, Taft is the “go-to” firm for public sector issues. Our services are provided in the following areas:

  • Telecommunications/cable franchise.
  • Tower regulation and placement.
  • Real estate, zoning and land use issues.
  • Inter-governmental agreements.
  • Public contracts.
  • Police policy and procedures.
  • Annexation and detachment.
  • Home rule charter development and interpretation.
  • Litigation, administrative hearings and appeals.
  • Right-of-way acquisition and regulation.
  • Risk management.
  • Eminent domain.
  • Construction and infrastructure improvements.
  • Competitive bidding/public works.
  • Open meetings and “Sunshine Law” public records.
  • Tax assessment and abatement.
  • Economic development agreements, such as TIF, CEDA, JEDD, etc.
  • Labor and employment, including public sector collective bargaining.
  • Regulatory and statutory compliance.

Our attorneys have a deep appreciation for the public trust given to local government leaders and their employees. We work with government and quasi-government entities to help them stay accountable to taxpayers and deliver necessary public services in the most cost-effective manner possible. We are committed to providing timely, necessary services to our public sector clients so that they may focus on the day-to-day operations that keep our communities strong and vibrant.

Representative Experience

  • Solicitor to city of Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio; 1999 to present.
  • Legal advisor to Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio; 1987 to present.
  • Special counsel to Hamilton County Commissioners in defense of lawsuit alleging violations of Ohio’s Sunshine Law.
  • Representation of townships in hearings and appeals before local zoning boards of appeal.
  • Representation of township in hearings and appeals before county commissioners and in trial and appellate courts on annexation issues.
  • Appointed counsel to Ashland County for prosecution of claims related to faulty construction of county jail facility.
  • Representation of township in negotiating and drafting inter-governmental agreements.
  • Representation of several municipalities and townships in eminent domain litigation.
  • Pioneered unique joint ventures of local governments to jointly finance, construct, own and operate electric, water and wastewater facilities.
  • Represented Liberty Township in construction of recreation center, township firehouses, community building and active park facilities.
  • Assisted Northern Area Water Authority municipal joint venture and its participant municipalities in site acquisition and construction of a $20 million water treatment and distribution network.
  • Represents the city of Lebanon, Ohio as its city attorney.
  • Negotiations with cities and developers, hearings before boards of county commissioners, and appeal and injunction actions before courts of common pleas, courts of appeal and the Ohio Supreme Court in annexation and annexation related matters.
  • Representation of an organization of builders and large residential builders in major litigation challenging the constitutionality of local government ordinances relating to development.