Registration is Open for 3rd Annual Paducah Citizens’ Academy

Date of release:  January 16, 2019

2019 academy scheduleThe City of Paducah is accepting registration applications for the third annual Paducah Citizens’ Academy, Your Passport to City Government.  If you are interested in participating, complete the registration form (Update February 19, 2019:  The 2019 class is full.  Registration is closed.) 

The Academy offers participants an in-depth look at how government works through an interactive program held on eight Thursday evenings beginning in March.  Topics include form and function of government, parks & recreation, information technology, 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.

City Manager Jim Arndt says, “The Citizens’ Academy is an exciting and interactive way to strengthen the connections between Paducah’s citizens and their local government.  The City recently adopted a new set of organizational values which will be reflected in the Academy.  We are striving daily to embrace these values by being action-oriented and solution-driven.  This Academy also shows that we want to improve the customer experience by providing positive interactions and responsiveness coupled with an increase in knowledge and understanding so that we can learn more ways to help each other.”

Assistant City Manager Michelle Smolen coordinates the Academy.  Smolen says, “The City looks forward to the Citizens’ Academy each year. We are passionate about serving the community and enjoy the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with participants about our inner workings and their experiences. This year we are working to find new ways for graduates of the Academy to continue to stay involved by volunteering or serving on boards and committees.”

The Paducah Citizens’ Academy will be Thursdays 6 until 8 p.m. from March 7 through May 14.  The Academy will not meet April 4 due to spring break for local schools.  Plus, the Academy will not meet May 2.  A graduation ceremony will be at the May 14 meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners with a reception before the meeting.  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 their Academy experiences:

  • This 8 week academy allows a better overview of how the city works and how each department fits together for the bigger picture of city government.  I am proud of Paducah but have even a better, more positive view of our local government after this course.
  • It was very informative overall and gave me great confidence in how Paducah is managed.
  • I loved learning about all of the different aspects of city government and seeing exactly what it takes to run Paducah like the well-oiled machine it is.

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