GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Green Bay residents joined together in the Council Chambers Thursday night, but not for a City Council meeting.
"I need information to take back to my neighborhood and to my association," Green Bay resident and Seymour Park Neighborhood Association President Tanya Westmoreland said.
Rather, it was for people to meet city leaders.
"I need to know who everyone is in regards to our government here in Green Bay," Westmoreland said. "I've been here 23 years."
"Thought it'd be interesting to understand a little bit better the workings of City Hall," Green Bay resident Tom Kaye said.
The city has started a City Hall Academy.
The program gives people an opportunity to learn more about government operations, services, and activities.
It also allows residents to have productive conversations with city leaders.
"Our intent here is just to make things as simple as possible to explain how things work here at City Hall and within different departments in the city," Mayor Eric Genrich said. "And to kind of bring people in to make it clear that we're here to serve."
The program is just for Green Bay residents.
The first class on Thursday was with the mayor, city attorney, chief of operations, and other officials.
Genrich said throughout the program, they're going to take tours at departments and parks around the city.
"So, we're hoping to move people around quite a bit, and make things as fun, and as I said, as accessible as possible," Genrich said.
The City Hall Academy is an eight-week program. Participants can graduate, but in order to do so, they need to attend at least six of the eight classes and go to one Common Council or Committee meeting.
"Oh, I'll be here," Kaye said.
"And also go to a City Council or Committee meeting," reporter Tyler Job said.
"Yeah, I look forward to that," Kaye said.
"Why go to six and maybe miss what we really need, you know, the road we need to take in those last two, or any two?," Westmoreland said. "And I want to graduate."
The mayor's office said those who graduate receive a certificate.
Genrich said plans call to do the City Hall Academy at least once a year. He did not rule out the possibility to do "a couple of these" every year.