Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Citizens' Academy to Educate About Local Government

Northampton County will hold its second annual "Citizens' Academy", a free program which aims to better inform participating residents about the workings of county government, beginning on September 4. The program, which filled up quickly last year, has been expanded to an 11-week program and will conclude on November 14.

The informative academy sessions will be held at various locations on Wednesday evenings from 6:30  to 8:30 p.m., except for one session starting at 6 p.m. at the Louise Moore Park on September 11, and the final session, "graduation", which will be held at the Northampton County Council meeting on Thursday, November 14.

Session topics include the following:

  • County Branches of Government
  • Home Rule Charter
  • Elections
  • Courtof Common Pleas
  • District Attorney’s Office
  • Sheriff ‘s Office
  • Human Resources
  • Human Services
  • Emergency Management Services with a tour of the county's 911 Center
  • Gracedale Nursing Home with a tour of the facility
  • Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Bridges, & Open Space - session at Louise Moore Park
  • a tour of the Juvenile Justice Center
  • Department of Corrections with a tour of the County Jail
  • Community & Economic Development
  • Recycling
  • Authorities, Boards and Commissions

Graduates of the Academy will be asked to sign a commitment statement indicating their willingness to serve as a volunteer at one of the county's programs or facilities, or on one of its many authorities, boards, and commissions.

"Last year’s Citizens' Academy was a huge success, with 22 graduates offering  glowing reviews," said Northampton County Director of Administration Tom Harp in a media release about the classes.
"Graduates of Northampton County’s 2012 Citizens’ Academy gave it an overall rating of 5+ out of 5."

"This was a fantastic program, and I enjoyed learning how our local government works – great job pulling it all together," wrote one of last year's participants as feedback.

"This has been a wonderful, educational experience," and "Beyond my expectations," two others reportedly wrote.

There is no charge to participate, but participants must be residents of Northampton County. The only other prerequisites are a commitment to attend all sessions, a willingness to learn, and a genuine interest in county government.

The deadline for registration is August 16, and enrollment is limited to no more than 25 people.

"Already, 10 individuals who were on the waiting list for the 2012 Citizens’ Academy have registered, so space is even more limited," Harp said.

Interested citizens are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible by completing the registration form that can be downloaded in pdf format from the county’s website here.

Completed applications should be mailed to:

Department of Administration
County of Northampton
669 Washington St.
Easton, Pa. 18042
Attention: Tom Harp.

Or, fax the completed registration form to 610-559-3722

For more information, contact Tom Harp, Director of Administration at 610-559-3192 or via email at

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