Shorewood Citizens Academy

You can now apply for the 2017 Shorewood Citizens Academy!  Contact Assistant Village Manager Tyler Burkart for questions at 414-847-2705 or via email at tburkart@villageofshorewood.org.

Purpose
The Village of Shorewood values civic engagement and opportunities for the public to learn about civic services.  The Village is creating a Shorewood Citizen’s Academy to allow residents and visitors a chance to learn more about their community.  The beauty behind the citizen’s academy is that it is intended for a diverse audience.  Whether you are a resident of the community for 30 years, a new business owner, a curious high school student, a prospective homeowner looking to move into the community or a resident looking for volunteer opportunities in the community, the citizen’s academy serves to all demographics and backgrounds. 

This is an innovative program that offers community leaders and officials to talk about services and volunteer opportunities.  The citizen’s academy serves as a new tool that enhances the Village communication by creating a hands-on learning opportunity for several individuals.  As the Village continues to evolve its communication plan to serve the residents of the community, the citizen’s academy is a program that meets the evolving community demand.  Lastly, the academy will allow Village officials a chance to work hands-on with residents and perhaps make improvements to services based on received feedback.

Structure
There will be a total of 20 spots reserved for the citizen’s academy.  There will be a total of six citizen’s academy sessions with each session lasting two hours (6 – 8 p.m.).  Citizen’s academy sessions will take place on a Thursday night.  The makeup of a session can range from a guest speaker to a tour of a facility.  Throughout the night, those participating in the citizen’s academy will be able to ask questions and interact with guest presenters.  These will not be public meetings and the sessions will be closed to those individuals who signed up for the academy.  At the end of each session, evaluations will be given out to the academy members to provide feedback and input towards the sessions for next year, which includes acquiring feedback on videotaping future citizen’s academies.

Application Process and Selection
Those interested in the academy will need to fill out a short application form and turn in to the Village Manager’s Office.  The selection process for the academy will be completed based on the timeliness applications are turned in.  Therefore, entry into the academy will be on a first come-first serve basis and residents will also be given priority.  If the academy is full and applications are still being turned in, those applications will be saved for the following year and those individuals will have the chance to be the first ones to sign up.  You do not need to be a resident in order to sign up for the academy.  The academy is partially designed for a prospective resident or business owner interested in the Shorewood community. 

The Village will post application forms starting October 27, and the Village will continue to accept applications for this upcoming academy through November 18.  The Village Manager’s Office will contact the selected participating academy members in December to confirm their spot in the academy and inform them of the upcoming schedule.  Even after the window is closed to sign up for the current year’s academy, individuals will be allowed to fill out an application for the next year’s academy at any time. Application forms will be available on the Village website, the Village Hall and Village Center lobbies, and at the Civic Information Center.

Proposed Schedule and Speakers

*    Session One – January 19, 2017 – Shorewood’s History, Structure of Government & Budgeting. 
Karen de Hartog from the Shorewood Historical Society will be invited to provide a 30-minute presentation on the history of Shorewood, providing some context on how Shorewood started and significant events that led to Shorewood of today.  Village Manager Chris Swartz will also provide some background on the Village structure of government, and Customer Service Director Diane DeWindt-Hall will discuss the customer service culture of the organization.  Then, for the second half of the session Mr. Swartz will team up with Finance Director Mark Emanuelson to discuss the multiple components involved with the Village budget as well as Village financing and other revenue sources such as parking and utility billing.

*    Session Two – January 26, 2017 – Community Service through Representation & Volunteering. 
The academy will invite several representatives to present and share their stories.  Milwaukee County officials, County Executive Chris Abele and County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman will be invited to talk for the first 30 minutes about County services and plans.  The next remaining 30 minutes will be allocated to those representatives at the State and Federal level (Representative David Bowen, Senator Lena Taylor and U.S. Representative Gwen Moore) to discuss their involvement in representing the citizens of Shorewood and current issues they are discussing.  Village President Guy Johnson will then be present for 30 minutes to discuss current issues the Village Board is facing.  Village Clerk-Treasurer Tanya O’Malley will provide a summary on voting in Shorewood, and Assistant Village Manager Tyler Burkart will summarize the volunteer options available with the Village and with other community groups.

*    Session Three – February 2, 2017 – Planning & Development. 
Planning and Development Director Ericka Lang will review some of the comprehensive plans the Village has adopted recently.  This will include a full update on the Wilson Drive Task Force and other projects associated to any of the comprehensive plans.  Ms. Lang will also provide a summary on the work related to the building inspectors and variety of permits needed for different projects.  Jim Plaisted from the Shorewood Business Improvement District will be in attendance to provide a 20 minute presentation on his role in the business community and the benefits of a business improvement district.  Lastly, Michael Harrigan from Ehlers will present for the remaining 30 minutes on tax incremental financing and the factors involved with making TIF policy decisions.

*    Winter Break – February 9, 2017 – will occur between first three and last three sessions to allow academy members some time off.

*    Session Four – February 16, 2017 – Public Safety. 
This session will invite the academy members to the Police Department building for a presentation on the Police Department by Police Chief Peter Nimmer and a presentation on the North Shore Fire Department consolidation by Fire Chief Robert Whitaker.  Then, academy members will be offered a tour of the current facility and some of the equipment and vehicles the Public Safety departments utilize to keep the community safe.  Chief Nimmer will identify some of the benefits of the space at the AB Data building and how that space will improve Police operations.

*    Session Five – February 23, 2017 – Education & Learning. 
This session will focus on educational opportunities for all ages from Shorewood, ranging from K-12, adults and seniors in the community.  Shorewood Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Davis will be present to provide information and updates with the Shorewood School District.  This 60-minute presentation will highlight some of the activities occurring at each of the schools, the issues being discussed by the School Board, and how the tax dollars are utilized by the district.  Library Director Rachel Collins will then transition with a 30-minute presentation on educational and learning opportunities being offered through the Shorewood Public Library.  Ms. Collins will also share some enlightening statistics about the Library.  Senior Resources Coordinator Elizabeth Price will conclude with a 30-minute summary on senior programming and ways seniors are staying involved in the community.

*    Session Six – March 2, 2017 – Public Works & Infrastructure. 
Academy members will be invited to the Department of Public Works building to learn more about Shorewood’s Public Works operations.  Public Works Director Leeann Butschlick will review some of the updates related towards road rehabilitation, stormwater infrastructure, snow and ice control, refuse and recycling collection, water quality and other significant issues.  Village Engineer Mustafa Emir will be available to respond to any engineering or design questions about the Village infrastructure.  Then, Assistant Public Works Director Joel Kolste will take the academy members on a tour of the DPW facility as they have an opportunity to see the equipment and vehicles up close.

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