The City of Woodland Park is working on several things in which residents and stakeholders of this great community may be interested in being involved. With three council seats and the mayor seat open for the April 2020 election, the City is hosting a Prospective Candidate Open House and Information Session on Wednesday, Dec. 11. If you are interested in running for one of these seats, or simply interested in learning more about the process, I encourage you to attend. The session is from 6-7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 220 W. South Ave.

We are excited to be hosting the City of Woodland Park’s second annual Citizens Academy in early 2020, and are encouraging Woodland Park residents and stakeholders to consider participating. There are a limited number of participants that we can host for this experience, with an enrollment cap of 25. The Academy will run for seven weeks, and participant requirements include making a commitment to attend all sessions. Each session will run for three hours and include a classroom session with participatory activities. Most sessions include facility tours as part of the weekly schedule.

The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to help citizens understand how our local municipal government is organized, how services are funded and delivered, and provide opportunities to directly engage with and ask questions of the public servants who serve the community. The sessions will be delivered by city staff and focused on the City of Woodland Park’s Administration, Finance, Public Works, Planning, Police, Water and Wastewater Utilities, and Parks and Recreation. The combination of information with the hands-on facility tour experiences can be eye-opening for academy participants.

Each session begins with a light meal for which we seek restaurant or other business sponsorships. Ultimately participants are also able to learn firsthand about the various City Council appointed boards and commissions, which are critical to the City’s operations. My hope is that the Citizens Academy will help pique interest for people to serve on Woodland Park’s boards and commissions, and also create opportunities for participants to advocate about city services and processes with other community members.

The City of Woodland Park boards and commissions often have openings for local residents to apply. Currently there are boards and commission member terms ending in January, and the City is putting a call out for residents to be involved in the Board of Adjustment, Board of Review, Historical Preservation Committee, Keep Woodland Park Beautiful and Planning Commission. Openings for these will be filled in January, and there are two alternate vacancies open for the Utilities Advisory Committee. Applications and more information can be found at city-woodlandpark.org/boardscommittees

The City staff continues to plan for 2020 and we all look forward to a positive and productive year. Many thanks to our residents and stakeholders for the interest and support you provide to your local government. Only with your involvement can we continue making strides for this great community of Woodland Park. I wish you all a safe and joyful holiday season!

Darrin Tangeman is city manager for the City of Woodland Park. Following 22 years as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces, Darrin spent three years serving as Pueblo West’s chief administrative officer before coming to Woodland Park. Contact Darrin at dtangeman@city-woodlandpark.org.

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