The Human Resources Department began the academy in 2009, the OCR picked-up the program in 2010 and it continues today. The program began as a way to educate citizens about its local government. A secondary reason for hosting the citizens’ academy was to increase interest and education in City government encouraging them to serve on one of the City’s boards and commissions.
One of the best ways to teach the community what you do is by explaining it first-hand to our residents. The Bristol Communiversity Academy is a group of 10-15 city residents - who enroll in a 6 week crash course on City Government. They learn what we do, and why we do it. It has been a successful program with many graduates becoming an active member of the City of Bristol’s government.
Classes are held on consecutive Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and will run for 6 weeks. The participants will be awarded their graduation certificate and be publically recognized.
During each session, participants will have the opportunity to meet most all administrative staff including the City Manager, Fire Chief, Police Chief and other department head. Classes include discovering the Big Picture with the City Manager, Bill Sorah and Finance Director Tara Musick. Other class topics will include Developing and Maintaining the Community, Public Infrastructure, Recreation and Leisure Service Opportunities and Public Safety – Police and Fire.
There is no cost to participate in the academy. Also, a light dinner is served due to the hours of the classes. There is always plenty of one-on-one time with the different speakers and they are always happy to address any questions one might have.