The NYSAC County Government Institute (CGI) is founded on the three pillars of good government:

  • Leadership,
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
Through courses and training within these pillars, CGI prepares rising and experienced county leaders for the challenges counties face, and equips them to engage in informed, constructive, and civil dialogue.

The Institute is a partnership between NYSAC and Cornell University/Community and Regional Development Institute.

The core CGI curriculum includes required courses on building consensus, financial management, ethics, management, and the foundations of county government.  CGI instructors are NYSAC staff, county leaders, and Cornell faculty members who are experts in local government structure and issues.

CGI courses are offered at NYSAC’s Fall Seminar (September), Legislative Conference (February), and Finance School (May). Courses are also offered regionally throughout the year.  Due to COVID, we are currently offering our CGI program via online webinars.

In addition to the core CGI training, CGI’s continuing education courses enable county leaders to stay up-to-date on timely issues and opportunities in local government. The knowledge and skills gained through CGI will serve county officials throughout their time in public service and beyond.    
County leaders that graduate from CGI have earned a certification that demonstrates their dedication to good government and to upholding CGI’s high standards of county leadership.
The NYSAC County Government Institute was founded in 2004, and celebrated it's first graduating class in 2005. Originally founded as The Dennis A. Pelletier County Government Institute, CGI was inspired by a long-serving and highly respected Monroe County leader and member of the NYSAC Board of Directors.

Dennis A. Pelletier developed a strong reputation for his hard work in becoming fully informed on the issues facing county government. As President of the Monroe County Legislature, he encouraged active debate concerning the impact decisions made by elected leaders would have on the lives of the citizens they represent.

Even after the most contentious debates, he was renowned for visiting dissenting legislators, to ensure that the tone of the political discussion was never personal and to attempt to achieve consensus on the important work ahead.
CGI was founded in the spirit of Dennis Pelletier’s commitment to good government, informed discussion and civil discourse.