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Longboat Key Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019 1 year ago

Signups still open for Longboat's Citizens Academy

Weekly sessions begin Jan. 8 for series of presentations on how government works.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

The town of Longboat Key is launching the 2020 edition of its popular Citizens Academy of Government over seven consecutive Wednesdays, beginning on Jan. 8.

Signups are underway now, and a few seats are still available.  The sessions are designed to reveal the inner workings of town government. There is no charge.

The first four sessions take place at Town Hall. Beginning with week five, participants meet at the site relevant to the topic. 

The first week will serve as an introduction to the course, with scheduled speakers Town Manager Tom Harmer, Town Attorney Maggie Mooney and Town Clerk Trish Shinkle. Speakers will deliver a presentation on the town history and an overview of the government, a discussion of elections, the town’s governing charter, open-government regulations, official records and meetings.

On week two, representatives of the town’s Information Technology and Finance departments will speak about behind the scenes operations and how tax dollars are typically spent.

On week three, the Planning, Zoning and Building Department will join Code Enforcement in discussing “Planning and Building a Premier Community’’ and “Maintaining Neighborhood Standards.’’

On week four, Support Services, along with Parks and Recreation, will discuss tennis, beaches and parks, human resources, doing business with the town and the town’s wellness program.

On week five, an overview of the Public Works Department will take place.

The Fire Department and Police Department will present on weeks six and seven.

Each session is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., running from Jan. 8 through Feb. 19.

The curriculum is designed for participants to attend all sessions to get the full benefit of the program.

Enrollment is limited and seats will be on a first-come, first served basis. The sessions are designed for residents but accommodate people with interest in Longboat Key government. Each participant receives a three-ring binder to collect hand-out materials from each of the sessions. The format is listen and learn, there is no classwork or homework. 

The town’s Citizen’s Academy has been held off and on since 2003. Last year, it returned after a hiatus and attracted more than 30 participants.

To enroll, contact Susan Phillips at Town Hall either by phone (941-316-1999, ext. 1212) or via email at [email protected].


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