Town of Addison, TX
REALIZING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION GOALS THROUGH INNOVATIVE SCHEDULING
- Town of Addison, TX: Citizen Academy
- Population: 13,056
- Years Offered: 10 (2000-present)
- Signature Innovation: Program is offered every other year over three full Saturdays
- Web Resources: Program flyer
Addison, TX, a town on the outskirts of Dallas, created a citizens academy in 2000. Every other November, the town kicks off the three-session program with a Friday evening welcome reception and dinner with the mayor and city manager. For three Saturdays, between 20 and 25 residents are presented with information and given tours about the town around themes:
- Addison as a Service Organization,
- Town government structure
- Town theatre center
- Addison’s Infrastructure and Development, and
- Town airport and tour
- Public works
- Public Safety and Opportunities for Service.
- Business and non-profit involvement
- Fire department tour
- Police department tour
The town publicizes the program in advance of the September application deadline by flyering at the town athletic club, inserting an advertisement in utility bills, and circulating a town-wide letter sent by the city manager. Applicants must be over 18 and show proof of residency for at least one year prior to their application. The town charges a $50 fee per participant to help offset the cost of the two meals per session.
Participants must attend a town council meeting to graduate. They graduate at a separate event in January of the following year of the program (sessions end in December). The town estimates about $14,000, is spent per program. However, 11 graduates have gone on to serve on town council or have run for mayor, and 17 have served or serve on appointed boards or commissions.