PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Applications are now being accepted for the city of Pittsfield's first Citizens Academy, which will be held this fall.
The Citizens Academy is a free, 10-week session program designed to help community members understand the operations of local government. Participants will gain awareness on the various functions of city departments within municipal government, tour designated locations, and engage in breakout activities. Attendees also will learn more about service opportunities available within local government.
Executive Assistant to the Mayor Catherine VanBramer developed the program after hearing about the success of similar programs throughout the state at a Massachusetts Municipal Association conference earlier this year.
"I am very excited about this program because it will provide residents with a first-hand view of the work that takes place every day in city government," said VanBramer, who engages with the public on a daily basis in the mayor's office. "I also recognize that there are sometimes misconceptions about the workings of government, so this program will help to create an awareness of how government works while providing an understanding of how one can become more actively involved."
The sessions will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays in the months of September through November at various locations to be determined within the city. Transportation options will be available, as needed.
To be eligible for Citizens Academy, applicants must be at least 18, a resident of Pittsfield and be able to attend each of the 10-week sessions to the best of their ability. Class size will be limited to 20 participants.
Scheduled topics include, but are not limited to, the following: Introduction to Municipal Government and Overview of the City of Pittsfield; Police Department; Community Development/Recreation/Business Development; Fire Department; Building Department and Health Department; Airport; Department of Public Services & Utilities; Cultural Development, Library and Veterans Services; Finance Department and Overview of Budget Process; and Personnel Department and City Clerk's Office.
Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and be publicly recognized for their participation.
Apply online, click here; download a paper copy here, click here or pick up a paper copy in the Mayor’s Office within City Hall, 70 Allen St. The application deadline is June 29. For additional information, call 413-499-9321 or email VanBramer.
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