Registration is Open for 2nd Annual Paducah Citizens’ Academy

Paducah Citizens' Academy CollageDate of Release:  January 30, 2018

The City of Paducah is accepting registration applications for the second annual Paducah Citizens’ Academy, Your Passport to City Government.  If you are interested in participating, complete the Registration Form.  

The Academy offers participants an in-depth look at how government works through an interactive program held on eight Thursday afternoons beginning in March.  Topics include form and function of government, parks & recreation, geographic information systems (GIS), planning and community development, finance and budget, engineering and public works, and public safety.  The Academy is a mixture of classroom instruction, hands-on activities, site visits, and tours.  Additional information about each session is located on the website.

Interim City Manager Mark Thompson says, “The Citizens’ Academy has proven to be a useful tool for the integration of Paducah citizens, their ideas, and their ideals in the daily operations of their local government.  In our first year of the Academy, there was a sincere connection between the participants and staff.  Each found the opportunity to learn from the other.  Citizens received an in-depth weekly opportunity to delve into the operations of City departments while departmental staff received the chance to listen and discuss concerns and ideas for improved services that Citizens’ Academy participants brought to the table. This is a chance for local interested residents to get up close and personal with City of Paducah functions and strategies.”

Assistant to the City Manager Michelle Smolen coordinates the Academy.  Smolen says, “Even though Paducah offers a variety of tools from the website to social media for citizens to correspond with the City and learn about our programs, services, and operations, we know that face-to-face interactions are the best way to engage the public.  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 Thursday afternoons 3 until 5:30 p.m. from March 22 through May 17.  The Academy will not meet April 5 due to spring break for local schools.  A graduation ceremony will be at the May 22 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.

Optional surveys were provided at the end of last year’s Academy.  Below is a sampling of the responses from participants regarding what they liked most about the Academy:

  • The teachings and explanations of the individual departments opened my eyes to the true workings instead of what was perceived by not truly knowing.
  • I enjoyed the ability to get to know each department on a personal level.  It was wonderful to be able to see those faces and hear that they are doing the best they can to see our city prosper.
  • The high level of professionalism and energy that each department executed at all the sessions.
  • I want to thank the City for having the foresight to understand that the public needs to know how their money is spent.

The Paducah Citizens’ Academy is similar in structure to the highly successful Citizens’ Police Academy offered through the Paducah Police Department.  If you have a question, contact Smolen at 270-538-9827 or at