Citizens’ Academy to be conducted again in 2020 for residents and business and property owners interested in learning more about City of Sarasota

Free eight-week program to begin on Jan. 23, 2020

Sarasota City Hall is on First Street in downtown Sarasota. File photo

City of Sarasota residents, property owners and business owners interested in learning more about their local government are encouraged to register and participate in the upcoming Citizens’ Academy, “an interactive, eight-week educational course,” the city has announced.

Most sessions will be held on Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning Jan. 23, 2020, a news release says. Space is limited to 25 participants.

“The Citizens’ Academy is an opportunity for participants to see how municipal government operates,” the release adds. Different city departments are featured each week. For examples, the release continues, participants will get a chance to see how the Utilities Department treats and maintains healthful drinking water; they will visit the Robert L. Taylor Community Center and learn what it takes to operate city parks; they will get to step on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and see how Broadway shows are brought to Sarasota; and they will get a hands-on demonstration of how the Sarasota Police Department protects the community.

“We are excited our Planning Department is once again able to offer this great course,” said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. “This is an excellent opportunity for our residents to become more engaged with their local government and experience all the ways the City of Sarasota is serving the community.”

The eight-week course is free, the release points out, but participants are asked to commit to attending all eight sessions. City of Sarasota employees also may participate. 

Graduation will be held during the March 16 City Commission meeting.

To view the full Citizens’ Academy schedule and complete an online application, visit