City of Clayton offers free ‘Government Academy’ to residents

The city of Clayton is offering its fourth annual Government Academy, and officials tout the program as a way to strengthen the partnership between the city and its residents.

Classes are held from 6 to 8 p.m. each Wednesday, Sept. 7 through Oct. 12. Each class focuses on a different department of government, according to Director of Development Jack Kuntz. Residents can sign up by emailing Kuntz at or by calling 937-836-3500 ext. 111.

“Each class will have the department head and support staff there, and basically, we just pull the curtain back on day-to-day operations,” Kuntz said, noting that classes are “informal” and residents are encouraged to actively participate.

Classes will highlight the functions of six departments, including police, fire, finance, development, services, and administration, Kuntz said. He said the education offered within the lessons promotes transparency within governments and trust from the community.

“This was really the result of us trying to look at different opportunities to offer different types of community outreach,” Kuntz said. “It’s really about trying to find a way to engage with the community, as one of our goals is to be as transparent and as responsive as possible.”

Kuntz says the laid-back environment of the classes offers an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and clear up concerns they may have.

“We’re able to answer a lot of questions that sometimes people are maybe intimidated to ask or they have been unable to find the answers to elsewhere,” he said. “It’s amazing because we’ve had residents come to us afterwards and say, ‘I learned so much and had no idea there is so much that goes into the day-to-day decisions you all are making.’”

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