City of Paducah Launches Citizens’ Academy

The City of Paducah is launching the first annual Paducah Citizens’ Academy, Your Passport to City Government.  The academy is similar in structure to the highly successful Citizens’ Police Academy offered through the Paducah Police Department.  The Paducah Citizens’ Academy will offer participants an in-depth look at how government works through an informative, fast-paced, and interactive program held on eight Thursday evenings beginning in March. 

City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “The Academy is an exciting initiative that will create new connections between citizens and their city government.  As a professionally-managed city government, we value citizen interactions and participation.  Even though Paducah offers a variety of tools from the website to social media for citizens to correspond with the City, we know that face-to-face interactions are the best way to engage the public.”

Assistant to the City Manager Michelle Smolen is the coordinator of the Academy.  Smolen says, “The Paducah Citizens’ Academy creates an opportunity for participants to meet and discuss city operations with the City Manager, Directors, and staff.  We are passionate about serving the community and want to share our inner workings.  My hope is that the graduates of the Academy continue to stay involved by volunteering or serving on boards and committees.”

The Paducah Citizens’ Academy will be held Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 9 p.m., from March 23 through May 18.  The Academy will not meet April 6 which is the week of spring break for local schools.  A graduation ceremony will be at the May 23 meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners.  The program is free to participants; however, class size is limited.  Individuals 16 years of age and older who live, work, or attend school in Paducah-McCracken County are encouraged to apply.  

Topics include form and function of government, public safety, geographic information systems (GIS), planning and community development, finance and budget, engineering and public works, and parks services.  There will be opportunities for ride-alongs, site visits, and tours.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the Registration Form.  The deadline to register is March 3.  

If you have a question about the Paducah Citizens’ Academy, contact Smolen at 270-538-9827 or at