Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Sanford, FL – It has been a more than years since I was in the first class of Sanford’s Citizens Academy. This is a free class in which everyone learns about many aspects of local government and how it works. It is a great opportunity for citizens to get an up close working the City of Sanford.
Back in February 2013, I was one of the first to sign up for first Sanford Citizens Academy, which was held on Wednesday nights from 6pm – 9pm for nine weeks long. The city at the time did not know if the class would continue. Some people thought this course would not survive. This was proven wrong, and since then they have had eight Citizens Academy classes graduate. What an accomplishment it is for the City of Sanford.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Class 8 and the City of Sanford organized a Sanford’s Citizens Academy Alumni social event. This event was held at the Sanford Civic Center were roughly two hundred people who attended this event. This was a chance to see some of my former classmates and network with other people who have gone through the course and have now graduated. Many of the class lecturers were in attendance too such as Mayor Triplet and City Manager Bonaparte were on hand and gave a brief speech on the entire city program.
I want to encourage anyone who wants to learn about your local government to sign up for this free course. One will be amazed at what you will give out of this course. Many people take this course for a variety of reasons. I took this course to enhance my knowledge on local government and at add it to my resume. Most employer todays are looking for employees who bring knowledge and experience to the table. This is a wise choice to add to your resume.
Here is some brief information about the overview of this course. The objective of this course is to inform citizens and stakeholders of the operations of city government and what is involved in delivering and maintaining services to the citizens of Sanford. There are many class benefits for each student. Students will receive a Learn first-hand about Sanford’s city government and to create an environment of informed citizens who can become volunteers for appointed boards, task forces and commissions. Classes are limited to 30 participants. The Citizens Academy is open to anyone interested, must be 18 years old to participate. 2 hour weekly session, Wednesday nights for 10 weeks, ending with a graduation ceremony at the City Commission Meeting. Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. Please note that there are various locations for each class night (locations are subject to change).
During the course one will learn about each city departments. The first night is an introduction to the city, key city personnel, and an overview of the course. After the first night students will attend every Wednesday night for 9 weeks. The departments they will learn are Economic Development, Public Works, Utility Department, Police Department, Fire Department, Planning Department/Historic Preservation/Land use, Community Improvement, Finance Department, and Graduation ceremony. Some course lectures are subject to change without notice.
If you’re interested in learning more about Sanford’s government please sign up at http://www.sanfordfl.gov/index.aspx?page=956 . Please note there is a waiting list for this course. Don’t be discouraged. It is worth the wait to join this program. Go ahead and download the application and email and or mail it in. This will start the process of getting into one of up in coming classes.
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Sources of information from the City of Sanford website