On July 20, 1994, the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy at Kent State University undertook a new project. The Honorable Beryl E. Rothschild, mayor of University Heights in Cuyahoga County, Ohio approached the center with a proposal to establish a Mayors' Think Tank in Northeast Ohio. She organized a group of current elected mayors and recently retired mayors from suburban municipalities and villages to use their combined experience and knowledge to discuss public policy issues facing local government officials today and develop policy papers on these issues.
In addition to the public administration faculty and graduate students representing the center, the twelve charter members involved in the Think Tank represented the communities of Bedford Heights, Bratenahl, Fairview Park, Lyndhurst, Middleburg Heights, North Olmsted, Pepper Pike, Richmond Heights, Shaker Heights, Strongsville, University Heights, and Walton Hills, a broad cross-section of Ohio's Cuyahoga County municipalities. Since its inception, the Mayors' Think Tank has expanded its membership to include the municipalities of Hiram and Kent in Portage County as well as Hudson, Macedonia and Stow in Summit County. The Ohio Municipal League's field representative is a regular participant at meetings.
The hope is that the Mayors' Think Tank and the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy will cooperatively research one major governmental issue per semester and develop a policy statement. As a forum for discussion without the pressures of politics, it is our intent that the Think Tank will produce significant policy papers to add to the intellectual knowledge of municipal government, as well as become a resource for law makers to draw upon in making better decisions regarding municipal government.