The city recently announced its Vista Leadership Academy is open for registration to those 18 years of age and older. It’s an educational platform for those wanting to learn more about their city government.
The Vista Leadership Academy has been in existence since 2007 and is a complimentary eight-week academy that takes place twice a year in the spring and fall.
Fall enrollment is now open with classes starting on Sept. 5. The academy is available to Vista residents and those doing business in the city of Vista.
According to city Communications Officer Andrea McCullough, students of the academy meet on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. with the exception of one daytime meeting geared toward a bus tour throughout the city.
“The academy gives residents an up-close look at how the city functions via presentations, citywide and facility tours and equipment demonstrations,” McCullough said.
McCullough said participants will learn how decisions are made, how city funds are allocated and how departments operate. Academy goers will personally meet elected officials such as the mayor and city council members.
Additionally, they will have an opportunity to communicate with the city manager and department directors who usually lead discussions for a given class session.
Law enforcement is another session and provides participants with a tour of the detention facility.
“Participants will tour city facilities, the Business Park and the downtown area,” McCullough said. “They will also discuss important issues such as planning, traffic, growth, city finances and more.”
McCullough wants people to know that enrollment is limited to up to 25 Vista residents or business owners. She also noted that registration is on a first come, first served basis.
McCullough pointed out how a diverse group of residents and business owners take part in the academy. While those new to the city like to sign up for the academy, others have lived in the city of Vista for years and decide to register, she said.
McCullough said when the academy ends, more still happens in the future.
“The academy continues after their ‘graduation’ with quarterly tours and presentations not covered by the academy,” she said. “The Leadership Academy graduates are called ‘Ambassadors,’ and the Vista Leadership Ambassador program provides in-depth tours of facilities, such as the Encina Wastewater Pollution Control Facility, Wave Waterpark, Public Arts scene and more opportunities to learn about the city.”
The final day of the academy usually falls on a Tuesday so that the new Ambassadors can be recognized at a City Council meeting. This year, the final session lands on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Graduates of the academy are also invited to fill out an evaluation so that the city can review their feedback.
“We encourage those interested to register soon as the academy always fills up quickly,” McCullough said. “The program is a great way to meet your neighbors and learn about the city you live in.”
To learn more about the Vista Leadership Academy, including registration, visit CityofVista.com/leadership or contact the City Clerk’s Office at (760) 639-6125.