Philomath Citizens’ Academy is now taking applications for those interested in participating in the eight-session series that will meet weekly on Thursday evenings from Sept. 15 to Nov. 3, City Manager Chris Workman announced.
The academy welcomes participants ages 16 and older and the deadline to register has been set for Sept. 12. Registration will be limited to the first 20 individuals. Registration forms can be completed online or printed out and submitted to City Hall (980 Applegate St.), through postal mail (P.O. Box 400, Philomath, OR 97370), or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each session is scheduled to run from 6-8 p.m. with four at City Hall and others at the Philomath School District office, Philomath Police Department, Philomath Fire & Rescue and the Benton County Historical Society’s Philomath Museum.
Those who complete the course will be recognized by the mayor and city councilors at the Nov. 14 meeting.
The eight sessions include:
• Sept. 15 — Introduction to Local Government: City management and community organization, public meetings and legal notices.
• Sept. 22 — Community Development and Urban Renewal.
• Sept. 29 — Philomath School District and Philomath Community Library.
• Oct. 6 — Philomath Police and Public Safety.
• Oct. 13 — City Infrastructure: Water, sewer, streets.
• Oct. 20 — Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
• Oct. 27 — The Budget and City Finances.
• Nov. 3 — Community Service Organizations.
Workman said the academy had originally been formed in response to a lack of applicants and candidates for various city committees and the City Council. The program launched in 2017 when 20 participants signed up and eight graduated — certificates are issued to those that attend most of the sessions.
In the four years that the program has been offered — 2020 was the exception because of the pandemic — there have been 61 participants with 33 graduates.
“More importantly, of those 61 participants, 25 have gone on to apply for appointed or elected positions since 2017,” Workman said.
Citizens’ Academy graduates currently serve on the Budget Committee, Planning Commission, Park Advisory Board, Tree Board, Inclusivity Committee and City Council.
“In contrast to the general election of 2016 when just seven candidates were running for seven positions, in the upcoming general election of 2022, just six years later, Philomath voters will have two mayoral candidates and nine city council candidates to choose from — half of which are Philomath Citizens Academy participants,” Workman said.