Lindenhurst wants residents to know what the village does and why
Lindenhurst will offer a 10-week academy to help engage residents and inform them of how the village works.
Besides classroom-style instruction on topics such as budget preparation, the academy is expected to include group discussion, hands-on exercises and field trips for a look behind the scenes of everyday services.
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 1 for the weekly classes beginning Sept. 5. As envisioned, the classes will "educate people on what we do and why we do it," Village Administrator Clay Johnson said.
Each class will last about two hours and range from eight to 15 participants. Visit "resident services" at www.lindenhurstil.org, email email@example.com or call (847) 356-8252.
"We wanted to keep it to one day a week in the evening for only a couple of hours," Johnson said. "We wanted to keep the material interesting."
The academy is similar to those offered by police departments in other communities, he added, but is broadened to include other village services, such as water/sewer distribution as well as police patrol operations, for example.
According to the village, studies and anecdotal evidence suggest academy participants are more likely to be engaged in civic activities, to become more interested in serving on local boards or commissions or volunteering in general and to champion the town's efforts.
"The village finds it important to demonstrate to our residents exactly how decisions are made and how we operate," Mayor Dominic Marturano said in announcing the academy. "Having that education helps create a higher discourse of issues in Lindenhurst."
Johnson said the village wants to engage residents who may not be focused on a particular topic or issue.
"We're trying to get people who typically wouldn't show up at a public meeting," he added.
In a related matter, the village for the first time will conduct a residents survey, with results to be used in goal setting. The survey will be mailed to about 2,000 randomly selected residents in late July or early August.
The survey is expected to have 50 to 60 questions and will focus on how the village performs various services, Johnson said.
The pending academy and survey are not the first attempts to engage the public. In February, Lindenhurst police launched a program called Elderly Residents in Need to attract and coordinate volunteers to assist seniors with various tasks.