The Fall 2023 Medford Citizen Academy students were celebrated for their successful completion of the eight-week program during the November 16 City Council meeting.
The Medford Citizen Academy, a free initiative, offers participants an immersive eight-week journey into the intricacies of the City’s local government and the diverse services it provides. Each week, students delved into different departments, gaining firsthand insights and participating in interactive activities.
The first session, “City Government 101,” commenced with an overview of the City’s departments, featuring an engaging discussion with Mayor Randy Sparacino. The week concluded with a lively trivia game, fostering a dynamic introduction to our local governance.
“Dollars and Sense,” the second session, saw the Finance department elucidate financial services and the budget process. Students, in turn, demonstrated their newfound knowledge by crafting two-year budgets for various departments.
“Planning and Developing Our Community,” the third week, highlighted the Planning department’s role in housing, community development, and long-range planning. Students actively engaged in proposing ways to enhance community participation.
The subsequent “Building Safety” session unveiled the department’s contributions to building permits and inspections. Students undertook the creative challenge of constructing earthquake-resistant structures using toothpicks, marshmallows, and Jell-O.
Midway through the program, the “We Keep Your City Healthy and Active” session with the Parks, Recreation, and Facilities department showcased recreational programs, including an interactive pickleball game and the conceptualization of a neighborhood park.
The program continued with a visit to the Service Center for the “Public Works” session, offering insights into the intricacies of street sign production and traffic signal operations. Students even received personalized street signs.
At Medford Fire Station 14, the “We Keep Your City Safe: Pt. 1” session involved a tour, fire operation insights, and a lesson on fire prevention. The students actively participated, riding the aerial platform and extinguishing a small fire.
The final session, “We Keep Your City Safe: Pt. 2,” hosted by the Medford Police Department, showcased various police services, including a demonstration from the K-9 program and Drone Response Team.
Students were encouraged to provide evaluations, resulting in overwhelmingly positive feedback. One student expressed, “Thank you for this program; I feel more connected to the community and have a greater understanding of how our city works. I am proud of our city.” Another noted the passion and dedication displayed by every City employee, making Medford “a wonderful place to be.”
Source: City Medford