Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights offers summer citizens academy


Airway Heights residents who want to learn more about how their city’s government work will get a chance to peek behind the curtain.

The city is offering a citizen’s academy for residents in the summer. The academy, which will take place for 1-2 hours, one day a week for six weeks, gives people a look at how Airway Heights’ City Council and the city departments operate.

City Manager Albert Tripp explained that the academy was created as a part of the goals the City Council adopted in 2015 — specifically relating to public outreach and civic engagement. Airway Heights has spent the last several years garnering public feedback through surveys and community conversations for various projects — including the U.S. Highway 2 revitalization and safety plan and the recreation center. The city’s public outreach efforts earned them a “Voice of the People Transformation” award in the Community Engagement category from the National Research Institute in 2015.

“Part of what we envision for this class is we’ll share information on the services the city provides, some of the issues the city is facing in those areas and what things might look like down the road in five or 10 years,” Tripp said.

Tripp added other cities offer similar academies to their residents, but there has not been one offered to people in Airway Heights.

Residents will be given a comprehensive overview of the city’s services from various departments, ranging from the planning and public works departments to the Police Department and court system. Accounting-records clerk Addam Janke said the classes would be taught by department staff.

“We also want to have one City Council member at each of the sessions,” Janke added. “It will be a kind of a ‘get to know your council member’ and citizens can ask questions.”

Attendees will gain insight into ways they could serve the city on the various public boards and commissions. Residents will also be given the opportunity to tour some of the city’s department buildings, such as the police and fire departments, and the water reclamation plant.

“They could come in and see the finance office, but there’s nothing special about that,” Janke added with a laugh.

Tripp said the class is open to 10 attendees. At the end of the six weeks, there will be a graduation ceremony.

“We’re hoping to see what kind of interest this generates and go from there,” Tripp said of the academy’s future.

For more information on the Airway Heights citizens academy, visit

Al Stover can be reached at

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