Staunton to Launch Citizen University
Apply by Sept. 4 to participate
AUGUST 22, 2018 — The City of Staunton will host its first-ever Citizen University this fall, allowing residents to get a behind-the-scenes look at how local government works.
Starting Sept. 11, the City will host a 12-week, hands-on learning program designed to give citizens a streamlined but robust experience of the key departments of the City. It’s also a way for City staff and officials to learn from residents and gather face-to-face feedback about the City’s performance and services.
The City is taking online applications for the Citizen University through Sept. 4. Residents are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible. A maximum of 25 participants will be accepted into the program, and first preference will be given to Staunton residents.
“Many municipalities across the country offer citizen engagement programs like this one, and we’ve been discussing the ways in which we can make local government more accessible to residents,” said Staunton City Manager Steve Owen. “We’re excited to launch the Citizen University in Staunton. Not only will it provide residents with valuable opportunities to take a closer look at the inner workings of their government, but it’s a great opportunity for us to learn from them, too.”
How it Works
Each Tuesday, from Sept. 11 through Nov. 27, the City will host a two-hour evening session on topics that include economic development; budget and taxes; services such as trash and recycling pickup, street maintenance, public parking, traffic control and utilities; public safety; parks and recreation services; voting and election processes; social services; the public library and more.
The program also includes tours of the City’s water treatment plant, fire and police departments, and the library, and riding tours with Economic Development and Parks and Recreation. Additionally, participants will get an up-close look at the operations of regional services like the landfill and jail.
The Citizen University culminates on Dec. 4 with a graduation ceremony for participants.
An overview of the program and a complete listing of the topics scheduled for discussion can be viewed on the City’s Citizen University web page.
The City plans to host the Citizen University program annually.
Ruth Jones Turner