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City of Winchester Offers INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy

28 December 2017 Community

One evening per week
January 11-April 19, 2018
6:00 – 8:00 pm (unless stated otherwise)
Held at various City facilities
$25 per person

The INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy was created in 2004 in an effort to open communication between the citizens and the City of Winchester. The International City and County Management Association (ICMA) featured Winchester’s INSIGHT Citizen’s Academy as a case study at its 2009 leading practices conference. City Managers from across the country attended the conference to learn about proven programs in other communities so that they may implement similar programs at home. Being featured at ICMA’s conference is a compliment to the program and an honor for the City of Winchester.

Since 2004, over 325 people have graduated from the program and many have gone on to serve on an advisory board and Council (i.e. Les Veach, John Tagnesi, Milt McInturff, Art Major, John Hill, Kevin McKannan and Bill Wiley).

The objective of the program is to familiarize local residents with the various functions of Winchester’s government; encourage continued involvement; enhance residents’ ability to navigate through the complex system of government services, and provide an avenue for open communication with City officials.

At every session, discuss the City’s past, present and future with department leaders and staff. Get to know the people that make the daily decisions and find out how and, most importantly, why decisions are made. Government operations can be complicated if you don’t have the opportunity to be a part of the action. Now you can get inside, get explanations, meet local officials and gain a new INSIGHT into your local government.

Each session lasts approximately two hours.  A welcome reception is held at the beginning and graduation ceremony with a mock City Council meeting is held at the end of the program.

During the mock council meeting, you have the opportunity to be a council member and discuss and vote on real-life scenarios.  The mock meeting is led by the Council President and Mayor.


Thursday, January 11 (Location: Rouss City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – Welcome Reception | Winchester’s History

Thursday, January 18 (Location: Rouss City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – The Big Picture with City Manager Eden Freeman

Tuesday, January 23 (Location: Rouss City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – Observe City Council Meeting

Thursday, January 25 (Location: Jim Barnett Park, Active Living Center, Social Hall)
6:00 pm – Budget Overview

Thursday, February 1 (Location: Timbrook Public Safety Center, 3rd Floor)
6:00 pm – City’s Infrastructure & Capital Projects

*Optional* Tuesday, February 6 (Location: Regional Jail, 141 Fort Collier Road)
7:00 pm – Tour of the Regional Jail and Juvenile Detention Center

Thursday, February 8 (Location: Timbrook Public Safety Center, 3rd Floor)
6:00 pm – Police  |  E-9-1-1  |  Tour of Public Safety Center

Thursday, February 15 (Location: Shawnee Volunteer Fire Station, 2210 Valor Drive, corner of Weems Lane & Valor Drive)
6:00 pm – Fire & Rescue  |  Tour of Station

*Optional* Tuesday, February 20 (Location: City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – Planning  |  Zoning & Inspections

Thursday, February 22 (Location: WDSS, 24 Baker Street)
6:00 pm – Social Services

*Optional* Tuesday, February 27  (Location: Joint Judicial Center)
6:00 pm – Winchester Sheriff  |  Commonwealth Attorney  |  Clerk of the Circuit Court

Thursday, March 1 (Location: City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – Treasurer  |  Commissioner of the Revenue

*Optional* Tuesday, March 6  (Location: John Handley High School)
6:00 pm – Winchester Public Schools  |  Tour of John Handley High School

Thursday, March 8 (Location: Jim Barnett Park, Active Living Center, Social Hall)
6:00 pm – Transit  |  Emergency Management

Thursday, March 15 (Location: Meet at Rouss City Hall)
5:30 pm – Public Utilities  |  Tour of Water Treatment Plant (transportation provided)

*Optional* Tuesday, March 20 (Location: Opequon Water Reclamation Facility, Rt. 7)
6:00 pm – Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant

Thursday, March 22 (Location: Old Town Welcome Center, 33 E. Boscawen Street)
6:00 pm – Old Town Winchester  |  Parking  |  Walking Tour Downtown

Thursday, March 29 (Location: TBD)
6:00 pm – Economic Redevelopment  |  Tourism

Thursday, April 5 (Location: City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street)
6:00 pm – Public Works  |  Tour of City Yards

Thursday, April 12 (Location: Jim Barnett Park, War Memorial Building)
6:00 pm – Parks & Recreation

Thursday, April 19 (Location: Rouss City Hall, Council Chambers)
6:00 pm – Dinner  |  Mock Council Meeting  |  Graduation Ceremony

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change.  INSIGHT participants will be notified of the final schedule prior to the start of the program.

Program Registration

2018 INSIGHT Registration Form
Registration Deadline: January 8, 2017

  • Prior to the start of the program, you will receive the complete program schedule with meeting locations via email.
  • Fee to participate in the INSIGHT Academy is to help cover the cost of materials, transportation and food.
  • INSIGHT alumni are welcome to participate during any portion of the academy at any time.
  • Space is limited to 30 participants.  Be sure to register early to reserve your spot.
  • NOTE: Because these activities create obligations for City personnel, please make every reasonable effort to attend all scheduled events.

For more information, contact: Amy Simmons, Communications Director at Rouss City Hall, 15 North Cameron Street in Winchester via phone: (540) 667-1815, ext. 1670 or Email

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