Ever wonder why the police department has a canine unit, how your water is kept clean and safe for drinking, or how staff determines which roads will be built or repaired each year?  Have you ever wondered how local government really works? Where your tax dollars go, how a building plan goes through the approval process, how snow plowing on city streets is prioritized after a snowstorm? We will tell you, during the City's Citizens Academy! The annual Citizens Academy is a free 8-week series of classes designed to teach citizens about how their local government works for them. The academy is held from mid-August through mid-October each year and takes participants through the various functions of City government.

The program is a way to take a behind the scenes tour of local government, pointing out its role and limitations, as well as a glimpse into the long-term planning that makes Cape Girardeau what it is today. The City of Cape Girardeau hopes to empower its' citizens through this program. It is our hope that participants will: learn about city government operations and services, participate in dialogues with city leaders, city staff, and other civic-minded residents, see taxpayers' investments at work, expand their knowledge and become more informed on current and proposed projects within the city, gain appreciation for the city's resources and capacity to meet the needs of the community, and learn about opportunities to become more involved and help build a sustainable community.

The Fall 2018 Citizen Academy dates are:
Session 1: City Hall and Civics 101, August 22nd, 2018 from 6-8PM
Session 2: Budgeting/Taxes, August 29th, 2018 from 6-8PM
Session 3: Development Services and Streets, September 5th, 2018 from 6-8PM
Session 4: Public Works, September 12th, 2018 from 6-8PM
Session 5: Parks and Recreation, September 19th, 2018 from 6-8 PM
Session 6: Fire Department, September 26th, 2018 from 6-8 PM
Session 7: Police Department, October 3rd, 2018 from 6-8PM
Session 8: Graduation, October 10th, 2018 from 6-8PM

To apply for the Citizens Academy program, you must:
Be at least 18 years of age or older
Reside or work within Cape Girardeau City limits 
Have an interest in learning more about your local government

Click here to indicate your interest in the Spring 2019 Citizen Academy (Applications for Fall 2018 are closed).

We hope participants will be better informed of how their city works and eager to ascend to leadership roles and positions in their neighborhoods and on our boards and Council. 

Please note this program is still under development. Tentatively expecting 6-8 week sessions to begin:
  • August - October 2018
  • February - April 2019
Credits to Paducah, KY; Davenport, IA; Victoria, TX; Birmingham, AL; Lakeland, FL; Eden, NC; Carlsbad, CA; Sandy City, UT; Midland, MI; Joplin, MO; Kissimmee, FL.