INSIGHT Citizen's Academy

INSIGHT Citizen's Academy

Get your information from the source! The City of Winchester's INSIGHT Citizen's Academy provides area residents, Winchester business owners and their staff an opportunity to discover their city through interactive, hands-on activities and to gain exposure to the wide range of government services, programs, functions and challenges.

2020 INSIGHT Citizen's Academy

Thursdays, January 9 - April 23, 2019
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Held at various City facilities
$25 per person

2020 INSIGHT Registration Form                   
Registration Deadline: December 31, 2019


Overview   

At every session, discuss the City’s past, present and future with department leaders and staff.  Get to know the people that make the daily decisions and find out how and, most importantly, why decisions are made.  Government operations can be complicated if you don’t have the opportunity to be a part of the action.  Now you can get inside, get explanations, meet local officials and gain a new INSIGHT into your local government.

“Everyone we met with was very enthusiastic about sharing with us what they do, and explaining a lot of processes. I really liked the fact that they all wanted questions and were eager to answer them.”

The program's goal is to familiarize local residents with the various functions of Winchester’s government; encourage continued involvement; enhance residents’ ability to navigate through the complex system of government services, and provide an avenue for open communication with City officials.

“This program was one of the highlights of my life in Winchester.”


INSIGHT logo

2020 Schedule 

Day Date Topic/Activity Location
Thursday January 9 Dinner | Welcome Reception | Winchester History Jim Barnett Park Social Hall, 1001 E. Cork St.
Thursday January 16 The Big Picture with the City Manager Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall, 15 N. Cameron St.
Thursday January 23 Budget Overview | Capital Improvement Projects | Infrastructure Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall
Tuesday January 28 Observe Council Meeting & Work Session Rouss City Hall, Council Chambers
Thursday January 30 Police | Tour of Timbrook Public Safety Center Timbrook Public Safety Center, 231 E. Piccadilly St.
Thursday February 6 Emergency Management | E-911 | Tour of 911 Center Timbrook Public Safety Center
Thursday February 13 Fire & Rescue | Tour of Fire Station Shawnee Volunteer Fire Station
Thursday February 20 Sheriff | Commonwealth Attorney | Clerk of Circuit Court Joint Judicial Center
Thursday February 27 Tourism Winchester-Frederick Co. Visitors Center
Thursday March 5 Planning | Zoning & Inspections Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall
Thursday March 12 Social Services 24 Baker Street
Tuesday March 17 Commissioner of the Revenue | Treasurer Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall
Thursday March 19 Winchester Public Schools | Tour of JHHS John Handley High School
Thursday March 26 Tour of Water Treatment Plant Water Treatment Plant, Middletown
Tuesday March 31 Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant Wastewater Treatment Plant, Rt. 7
Thursday April 2 Parks & Recreation Jim Barnett Park Rec Center
Thursday April 9 Economic Development | Old Town Winchester Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall
Thursday April 16 Public Works | City Trees | Tour of City Yards City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street
Thursday April 23 Dinner | Graduation Rouss City Hall, Exhibit Hall

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change. INSIGHT participants will be notified of the final schedule prior to the start of the program.

“Great program for new citizens to area and employees of agencies that interact with the city government."


Program Registration   

2020 INSIGHT Registration Form                    
Registration Deadline: December 31, 2019

  • Prior to the start of the program, you will receive the complete program schedule with meeting locations via email.
  • INSIGHT alumni are welcome to participate during any portion of the academy at any time.
  • Space is limited to 30 participants. Be sure to register early to reserve your spot.
  • Because these activities create obligations for City personnel, we ask that you make every reasonable effort to attend all scheduled events.

“If I were Emperor of Winchester, I would make this program mandatory.”


Benefits 

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how local government works from the people in the government who directly serve you
  • Meet government leaders and staff members and visit various government facilities
  • Understand how you can become engaged in public affairs
  • Participate in discussions with City staff about successes and challenges
  • Serve as a role model for other community residents interested in social change
  • Help foster an environment that contributes to the quality of life for all residents
  • Gain the knowledge needed to become a member of a City advisory board or commission
  • Help build a livable, sustainable community

“Having the opportunity to meet the staff first-hand was the best part - as it made the workings of the government come to life.”


History 

The INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy was created in 2004 in an effort to open communication between the citizens and the City of Winchester. 

The International City and County Management Association (ICMA) featured Winchester’s INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy as a case study at its 2009 leading practices conference.  City Managers from across the country attended the conference to learn about proven programs in other communities so that they may implement similar programs at home.  Being featured at ICMA’s conference is a compliment to the program and an honor for the City of Winchester.

Since 2004, approx. 375 people have graduated from the program and many have gone on to serve on an advisory board and Council (Les Veach, John Tagnesi, Milt McInturff, Art Major, John Hill, Kevin McKannan and Bill Wiley). 

You won't believe all there is to discover at the City of Winchester’s INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy!

“Great job by the City. It really makes one feel they can be a part of things.”


Amy SimmonsAmy Simmons
Communications Director

Rouss City Hall
15 North Cameron Street
Winchester, VA  22601
(540) 667-1815, ext. 1670
Fax (540) 722-3618

Email