After a multi-year hiatus, the City of Napa reintroduced a newly-revamped Napa City Academy (NCA), a transformative program designed to empower Napa residents with comprehensive knowledge about the various functions of their City government.
“I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the City of Napa departments and how they affect my life and the lives of others,” said Austene Hall, resident of Napa and NCA participant.
Napa City Academy, a free program exclusively tailored to Napa residents aged 18 and over, saw the participation of a dedicated class of 20 individuals in its first session. The weekly Academy meetings, held on Wednesday evenings from September 6 to October 11, offered participants an in-depth understanding of the city's inner workings through:
- Direct interactions and presentations with City Council members, department heads, and staff
- Insights into decision-making processes, city fund allocation, and departmental operations
- Comprehensive overviews of city departments, programs and services
- Interactive learning and discussions about the current status and future plans for Napa's development
- On-site exploration of key City facilities
“The Napa City Academy is a fantastic program,” said Napa Mayor Scott Sedgley. “Empowering our residents with knowledge about their city government is crucial for building a stronger, more united community. I commend all the participants for their dedication and enthusiasm throughout the program.”
Following the conclusion of each session and the NCA program as a whole, the City of Napa conducted a survey in order to gain feedback from participants. This feedback will be used to improve upon prior sessions, as the City works to create plans for the next program. The anonymous survey revealed overwhelming support for the program:
- 100% of those who participated in the survey rated the experience a 4 or 5 out of 5.
- Participants praised the experience as well-organized and educational.
- Highlights included seeing the passion from City staff about the work that goes into providing city services, learning how to use fire equipment and connecting with fellow NCA participants.
“I want to express my appreciation for the enthusiasm and dedication that the Public Works and Utility teams showed, which was clearly evident in the presentations they gave as part of the NCA,” said Ross Portugeis, resident of Napa and NCA participant. “I didn't give much thought to what goes into providing us with safe roads, quality water and recycling, but this session showed that it takes lots of training, knowledge and skill. It was very informative.”
The City of Napa would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, staff members and City officials who contributed to the success of the Fall 2023 Napa City Academy.
“We are so proud of the achievements of our inaugural Napa City Academy class,” said City Manager Steve Potter. “This program has been instrumental in fostering a deeper connection between our residents and their local government. It is inspiring to see our community members embrace a more informed and engaged role in shaping the future of our City.”
Napa City Academy will return in the Fall of 2024. For those interested in future NCA sessions, please email [email protected] to be placed on the interest list. The application period will open in July 2024; applications and program information will be available at www.cityofnapa.org/CityAcademy.