There were 11 graduates from the first edition of the City of Atchison Citizens’ Academy, as each were recognized at Monday’s City Commission meeting.
Karly Casey, Caeli Haigh, John Haigh, Lisa Moody, Christy Myers, Colby Nickels, Janet Paper, Ryan Pickman, Jessica Rush, Ellen Stephenson and Christine Story were the inaugural program graduates.
The academy featured five 90-minute seminars covering the basics services and responsibilities of the local city government. Topics includes a basic services overview, public safety, community development, public works and utilities. Attendees were able to tour the fire station, the water treatment plant, the wastewater treatment plant and a guided coach tour of area parks and public works projects.
To graduate, enrollees were asked to attend at least four of the five seminars, which took place weekly on Wednesday evenings. The first class commenced on May 15, with the final wrapping on June 12.
The purpose of the Citizens’ Academy was to help increase knowledge and excitement for public participation in city government. One hope was that Academy graduates might show interest in serving on public boards and commissions. To that end, one member of the inaugural class has filed to run for City Commission this fall.
“This was a great turn out for our inaugural Citizens’ Academy,” City Manager Becky Berger said. “The level of involvement from the attendees was outstanding and we have received enough positive feedback that we will definitely be doing this again.”
Berger said the city is looking at hosting another academy in the fall.
“We learned quite a bit doing this. We should be able to make it even better moving forward,” Berger said.
For more information contact Joe Warren at (913) 367-5500, or Joew@cityofatchison.com.