ASHLAND, VA – The Town of Ashland is excited to announce the first-ever Ashland Citizen Leadership Academy will start on October 30, 2014. The monthly seminar series will provide an in-depth look at town departments and operations in order to grow interest in local issues, provide even greater transparency and accountability to the public, foster public discussion of town challenges, connect engaged citizens, and develop a pool of current and future leaders for the town and its neighborhoods.
The academy comes at the request of the town council and following a strong response to an online survey the Town conducted on the subject in late July and early August. Of 138 citizens responding to the survey, more than two-thirds (68 percent) said they would be interested in attending and another 24 percent said they might become interested after learning more about it. Results of the survey were also used to determine the name of the academy, how frequently to meet, best days and times to schedule academy sessions, the minimum age for participants, awards for completion of the academy, and scholarships and fees.
Participants in the academy will meet with town leaders and senior staff to learn about and discuss issues related to the town budget, parks, tourism, public safety, public works, community development, technology and other topics relevant to local government in Ashland. Successful completion of the program will require attending at least six of eight sessions, visiting meetings of the town council and planning commission, riding along with police or public works staff, volunteering in the community and completing a course evaluation. Graduates will be recognized at a reception in their honor prior to the April 21 town council meeting, receive an official certificate of achievement, and be included in an official press release showing their accomplishment.
All interested citizens living or working in Ashland are encouraged to learn more on our website. Those willing and able to commit to the schedule and requirements of the academy should submit their applications no later than September 26.