Citizens Academy

The 10-week City of Sanford Citizens Academy provides an opportunity for citizens to learn about City government through first-hand experience and gain exposure to the wide range of government functions, services and activities. (This is a free public information program).

The Citizens Academy will be held weekly on Wednesday evenings, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Participants are expected to attend at least 8 of the 10 sessions to receive a Certificate of Completion at a graduation ceremony at the City Commission Meeting, 300 N. Park Ave. Sanford, FL.

SunnyFM Radio Blog Sunny Across Central Florida Get Involved - City of Sanford Citizens Academy

Graduates of the Citizens Academy, there is an active Facebook Alumni Group called Sanford FL Citizens Academy Alumni Group.

Class 15 will be offered Feb. 2020. Once the new schedule is confirmed we will be accepting applications for Class 15. Please check back early December for the updated Class 15 application and class schedule. Thank you.

Application Form - Class 14 will be offered September 11 - November 13, 2019 (Wednesday evenings for 10 weeks 6pm-8pm).  CLASS 14 is filled. We are no longer accepting applications for Class 14. Congratulations to the 35 citizens who are now Class 14!


Applications for the Citizens Academy can be emailed to, OR Fax to Lisa Holder, Communications Officer at 407-688-5002, OR mailed to City of Sanford Attn: Lisa Holder, 300 N. Park Ave. Sanford, FL 32771, OR hand-delivered to the City Manager’s Office/Communications Officer, 2nd Floor, City Administration, City Hall. For more information, please call 407-688-5019.

Objective -
To inform citizens and stakeholders of the operations of city government and what is involved in delivering and maintaining services to the citizens of Sanford.
Benefits –
Learn first-hand about Sanford’s city government and to create an environment of informed citizens who can become volunteers for appointed boards, task forces and commissions.
Class Size –
Classes are limited to 35 participants. The Citizens Academy is open to anyone interested, must be 18 years old to participate.
Curriculum – A 2 hour weekly session, Wednesday nights for 10 weeks, ending with a graduation ceremony at the City Commission Meeting. Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. Please note the various locations (locations subject to change): 

Class 14
September 11, 2019 - Getting To know Your City Government @ City Hall, Commission Chambers, 300 N. Park Ave., Sanford
- Introductions
- Meet the Mayor/City Manager/Deputy City Manager
- Overview of Government Organization
-Clerk’s office/Agendas and Public Records
- Role of Human Resources/Risk Management
-Tour City Hall

September 18, 2019 - Public Works @ Public Works Complex, 800 Fulton St., Sanford
- Street Maintenance
- Fleet Maintenance
- Building Maintenance
- Stormwater Division

September 25, 2019 - Police Department @ Public Safety Complex, 815 Historic Goldsboro Blvd., Sanford (Community Room 1st Floor)
- Police Programs and Operations
- Tour Police Department

October 2, 2019 - Parks and Recreation Department @ Sanford Civic Center, 401 E. Seminole Blvd. 
- Events/Recreation Programs: Youth, Adults, Seniors
- Recreation Facilities
- Sanford Museum
- Parks and Grounds

October 9, 2019 - Economic Development Bus Tour Meet @ City Hall 300 N. Park Ave. Sanford 
Economic Development Overview,  Past, current and new plans for Economic Development

October 16, 2019 - Utilities Division, Bus Tour Meet @ City Hall, Utility Training Room, 1st Floor, 300 N. Park Ave. Sanford
Overview of the Utility Department
- Equipment showcase
-Overview of the Utility Department
-Regulations/Rules Governing the Utility Operation
-Customer Service/Obtaining Service
-Water Production, Treatment and Transmission
-Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Reuse

October 23, 2019 - Planning Department/Historic Preservation/Land Use @ Location TBD
- Land Use Planning/Zoning Regulations
- Legal aspects of land use decision making-Assistant City Attorney/role of City Attorney

October 30, 2019 - Fire Department/Fire Marshal @ Public Safety Complex, (Emergency Operations Center 2nd Floor) 815 Historic Goldsboro Blvd., Sanford 
- Fire and EMS Services 
- Emergency Preparedness 
- Tour Fire Department 

November 6, 2019 - Community Improvement, Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Building Permits @ Location TBD
- CDBG/NSP Program
- Community Improvement
- Building Permits

November 13, 2019 - Finance Department @ City Hall, Utility Training Room, 1st Floor, 300 N. Park Ave., Sanford
Overview of the City’s Operating Budget/Budget Process
- Financial Services
- City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
- Grant Management
- Accounts Payable/Receivables
- Purchasing
- Information Technology (IT)  

Graduation Ceremony - November 18, 2019 City Commission Meeting 7pm, City Hall, 300 N. Park Ave., Sanford

Comments from Citizens Academy graduates:

Worth while. Informative. Fun. Empowering. Awesome!
This was a very enlightening, positive experience.
Outstanding and I encourage others to participate.
The thing I will take away is that there are a whole bunch of people that you don't see on a daily basis, working very hard for the city of Sanford . . . and they all seem to really love their jobs. As a local business and home owner, that really made me feel better about our city.
Excellent, it is important to us to be informed citizens and understand how our city government works. We also value being productive citizens in our community.
Was Excellent.
It was a great experience. I was a little skeptical at first, but after making the commitment, attending the academy, it was a fantastic experience. The information I learned about the city's history, police and fire dept, utilities was more than I imagined I would be informed about from the staff of each dept. The staff was very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions we had, even after the meeting.
I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about what the city does and I hope they are valued and well-compensated.
A++++ it was amazing and I'm going to be sad not spending my Wed. evenings learning about Sanford and meeting some really great people.
I found all the presenters who work for the City of Sanford as department managers to be professional and very knowledgeable about what they do. It made me smile while out working in my yard and a Sanford Utility truck drove by and the driver took the time to smile and wave. Small acts of friendliness from city workers leaves a lasting impression.
It was one of the best decisions that I made as a resident. I now have a better understanding of how the city operates. I loved how staff portrayed teamwork. It made me proud to say, I'm from Sanford!

Citizens Academy Class Photos:

Class #13
Citizens Academy Class at Planning & Dev. Services
Class #12
Utility Citizens Academy 10.3.18

Class #11 
eco dev 5

Class #10

Class 10 photo

Class #9 

Class 9 photo

Class #8 

Class #8 Citizens Academy

Class #7 
Class #7 Citizens Academy Graduation

Class #6
Class #6 Citizens Academy Graduation

Class #5
Citizens Academy Winter 2015 Class

Class #4
   Fall 2014 Citizens Academy

 Class #3 
Citizens Academy photo 1

Class #2

Citizens Academy photo 5

Class #1 (Inaugural Class) 

Citizens Academy photo 4