Citizen Education

Citizen Education

Understanding community issues and the role of local government

Local Government Acahdpen2demy has long been a provider of educational programs for elected and appointed local government officials, municipal  employees and those who work closely with local governments – such as community development corporations and municipal solicitors. While most LGA programs are open to the public, it has always been a challenge to garner attendance from the general public on topics that are specific to the functions of municipal government.

In 2013, LGA began working with a team of local government professionals to offer training on a wide variety of topics related to local government. These professionals have a wealth of experience in local government and have served in various capacities, including management and human resources, finance, community development, parks and recreation, public works and code enforcement – just to name a few!

Through Local Government Academy’s Citizen Education program, this team of professional is prepared to work with your organization to improve the understanding of community issues and the role of local government by:

  • Providing complete educational program that fit your needs
  • Serving as speakers for existing programs

Speakers are available to focus on general local government functions as well as more specific topics, which are listed below.


Who should consider Citizen Education?
Local Government Academy’s Citizen Education program is ideal for:

  • Civic organizations and businesses whose members or employees want to increase their understanding of local government
  • Classrooms – from elementary age students just beginning to learn about community to those studying public policy at the collegiate level
  • Educators who provide instruction on government, public policy or a related field

Scheduling your program

  1. Contact Local Government Academy
    Susan Hockenberry, Executive Director
  2. Discuss your training needs
    Who is the audience you are looking to train?
    What do you want the audience to learn?
    When do you want to schedule this training session?
    Where will the sessions be located?
    Why do you want to provide this session?
    Will this session be the start of a new training program or an addition to an existing program?
  3. Meet with LGA & the Citizen Education Committee to identify and finalize your program needs. LGA will identify a speaker for your citizen education initiative.

General local government topics:

  • Powers and duties of Pennsylvania local governments, including the roles and responsibilities of elected officials and employees
  • Various offices and forms of government
  • Non-elected boards and commissions
  • Key local government services
  • Priority setting
  • Sunshine Act & Right to Know Laws
  • Local government meetings and understanding ordinances, resolutions and motions
  • Evaluating programs and services and measuring effectiveness

Topics specific to local government services:
Administration/Human Resources

  • Citizen responsiveness
  • Delivery models, including privatization and intergovernmental cooperation
  • Collective bargaining, civil service
  • Job descriptions, performance reviews and employee handbooks
  • Legacy costs
  • Measuring results and organizational effectiveness


  • Taxation and other revenue generating ideas
  • Capital improvement planning
  • Financial monitoring
  • Balancing budgets

Community Development

  • Planning and zoning
  • Code enforcement
  • Economic development
  • Transportation
  • Comprehensive planning

Parks and Recreation

  • Green space
  • Program Delivery

Public Safety

  • Police, fire & EMS service delivery
  • Administration and organization structure

Public Works

  • Roads
  • Sewers
  • Stormwater management
  • Water