City offers Free Citizens Academy: get up close and personal with local government, city departments

The City of Snoqualmie is getting ready to start its annual Citizens Academy – a free seven-week course that gives participants an inside look at how the city works – begins September 12th.

Classes are held Wednesday evenings through October 17th from 6 to 8:30PM, with one Saturday session from 9AM to 2PM. All classes start at City Hall, 38624 SE River Street. Some sessions include facility tours.

The course sessions – led by Snoqualmie city leaders, officials, and department heads – are informal, interactive, and according to City Clerk and Citizen Academy organizer Jodi Warren, are also a lot of fun.

Citizens Academy graduate Lori Murton said, “I really enjoyed the experience. The chance to see how the city runs, with all its various departments, was priceless. I came away with a much better understanding and appreciation of the work involved and the people. I highly recommend the Citizens Academy to all Snoqualmie residents.”

There are still spots available. Interested citizens can reserve a spot HERE.  See course curriculum below.

2016 Citizens Academy graduates

Citizens Academy Course Curriculum

Welcome and Introductions

History: Learn about Snoqualmie’s history along with a look to the future. Presenter: Dave Battey, Local Historian.

  • A Political Perspective: Presenter: Mayor Matt Larson.
  • Mock City Council Meeting: Participate as council members and/or the public.

Facilitator: Jodi Warren, City Clerk.

Parks and Recreation

  • Parks & Recreation: Learn about the City’s expansive parks system and the people who maintain it. Presenter: Dan Marcinko, Director of Parks & Public Works.
  • Tour: Visit city facilities and test your knowledge through a game.

Public Works

  • Public Works: Explore city infrastructure, streets, water, and wastewater. Presenter: Dan Marcinko, Director of Parks and Public Works.
  • Tour: Visit city facilities.

Police Services (Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm)

  • Police Department: Explore the many ways the Police Department protects the community. Presenter: Perry Phipps, Police Chief.

Tour: Includes a tour of the Police Department and lunch.

Legal and Finance

  • Legal Authority: Learn about the organic authority of cities, separation of Mayor and City Council powers, and open government (Open Meetings and Public Records Act) basics. Presenter: Bob Sterbank, City Attorney.
  • Finance 101: Delve into where city revenue comes from, where property taxes go, how tax dollars support city services and programs, and how voter initiatives impact the city’s budget. Presenter: Robert Hamud, Finance Officer.

Community Development

  • The Planning Universe: Examine the City’s long-range planning, land use management, zoning code development, and the development review processes.
  • Background: Learn about the link between the Growth Management Act and the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations, State Shoreline Management; State Environmental Policy Act, Floodplain Management, and Sustainability Strategy. Learn when and how citizens can be involved in both long-range planning and project review. Presenter: Mark Hofman, Director of Community Development.
  • The Silent Defenders: Includes Building Code Enforcement information about fire protection, prevention, and suppression related to building inspections with the purpose to protect life and property. Presenter: John Cooper, Building Official.

Fire and Emergency Services

  • Fire & Emergency Management: Gain insights into protecting life and property and managing disasters. Presenter: Mark Correira, Fire Chief.
  • Tour: Includes a tour of the Fire Station.

Monday, October 22, 7:00 p.m. Graduation

  • Certificate of Completion: Upon completion of the course, participants presented with certificates at a Snoqualmie City Council Meeting.


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