Palm Coast - Twenty-six Palm Coast residents graduated this month from the Palm Coast Citizen's Academy, a comprehensive program designed to educate interested residents about the operation and workings of their City government.

The graduating class - the 45th in the program's history - spent five weeks learning about City departments and visiting City Hall, the Community Center, main Fire Station 25, and Water Treatment Plant No. 3, and Wastewater Treatment Plant 2. The class also attended a Palm Coast City Council meeting together.

This session's graduates were Rhonda Barner, Walt Barner Jr., Mark Burda, Daniel Cauley, Patricia Cauley, David Chaney, Sarah Chaney, Candace Covey, Joey Covey, Patricia Devoy, Beth Hagan, Louis Hagan, Cecil Hengeveld, Peggy Hengeveld, Joseph LaMacchia, Marilyn Moreira, Connie Orell, Larry Orell, Scott Pearston, Sharon Petty, Lilian Rodriguez, Diane Scarnecchia, Vickie Taylor, Cynthia Turner, Hugh Turner, and James Zimmerman.

"The Citizen's Academy is one of the best ways to learn about our local government - about the City Council's goals for maintaining our high quality of life and well-run City services, for advancing our community's economic development and quality of life through new technology and innovation, and for understanding what goes into day-to-day operations of City government," said Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland. "We appreciate our Citizen's Academy graduates' interest and welcome them as the City's newest ambassadors."

The Citizen's Academy kicked off in early February with an opening session titled, "Governing the City," providing background on Palm Coast's incorporation, City Charter, the Council-Manager form of government, and overall information about the City.

Participants in the Citizen's Academy received an overview on every City department and met City Council members, department directors and many other City employees. Interim City Manager Beau Falgout did a presentation on development projects - both public and private - currently underway in Palm Coast.

The Citizen's Academy meets once a week, usually on Monday evenings, for five straight weeks. The course is free and registration is limited to approximately 30 Palm Coast citizens per session.

Registration is now open for two additional sessions this year. Go to www.palmcoastgov.com and search for "Citizen's Academy."

For residents whose schedules don't allow for the in-person Citizen's Academy, the City also offers a Virtual Citizen's Academy. Visit www.palmcoastgov.com/vca. The Virtual Citizen's Academy includes an overview of the City government and separate modules on each of the City's departments.

For more information, contact Cindi Lane, Palm Coast Communications & Marketing Manager, at 386-986-3708 or clane@palmcoastgov.com.