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Citizens' Academy to Offer Inside View of Local Government [Op-Ed]

The following op-ed is by David Willard, a member of Lower Saucon Township Council.

On Thursday, March 7, Lower Saucon Township will launch its first-ever Citizens’ Academy.

What is a Citizens’ Academy? It’s an opportunity for Lower Saucon Township residents to learn more about how their township government actually works. Through a series of six weekly interactive one-hour workshops, attendees will meet members of the Township Council and staff. They’ll learn about Administration, Public Works, Finance/Budget, Land Development and Zoning, Police Services, Parks and Recreation, and more. They’ll also learn about the history of Lower Saucon Township--dating back to 1743--and how various departments and volunteer groups serve almost 11,000 residents. The Citizens’ Academy is intended to be highly educational...and fun.

Our dedicated township staff and elected officials are constantly striving to achieve a high level of communication, engagement and responsiveness with the residents of Lower Saucon. We do this through daily interactions, public meetings, our website and periodic newsletter and, now, the new Citizens’ Academy. To my knowledge, we are the first township in the Lehigh Valley to offer this type of innovative program for residents. (Note: Northampton County and the City of Bethlehem also offer Citizens’ Academies.)

You can learn more by downloading a Citizens’ Academy brochure at: http://www.lowersaucontownship.org/pdf/cabrochure.pdf. Then download the registration form to sign up: http://www.lowersaucontownship.org/pdf/caregistration.pdf. Your completed registration form can be mailed to the township office at 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18015 or emailed to: adminasst@lowersaucontownship.org. (Note: Online registration is not available at the present time.) The registration deadline is Feb. 22 and there is no cost to participate.

Enrollment in our first Citizens’ Academy is limited to 25 participants. Each participant will receive a certificate upon completion of the program. My fellow council members and I hope that you will be one of them.

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