Graduates of Clermont's Citizens Academy (CCA)-Spring 2024 session proudly stand onstage with Michael Gonzales (City Council Seat 1), Brian Bulthuis (City Manager) and City Mayor (Tim Murray) at the Black Box Theatre at Clermont's Arts and Recreation Center on Rt. 27. 
by Grace Rabano
Clermont’s Citizens Academy is a free, 7-week, Civic educational program for Clermont residents to explore various departments for a better understanding of how city government works and how the many services are provided.  Attendees get an in-depth introduction/exposure to various city areas including the Fire Department, Finance & Building Services, Parks & Rec, Public Services, the Police Department and of course City Hall. 
“Being relatively new to Clermont (and Florida in general), this provided me a deeper understanding of what makes the city work and how decisions are made for the city’s growth. Knowledge is really key to combat the negativity and baseless complaints seen on social media,”  says Grace Rabano, one of the Spring 2024 graduates.
“My personal favorite was getting to ride the fire department’s big-ladder bucket truck. It was just dusk, and we got to experience a glorious sunset from up high…and see the lights from Epcot miles away!  It was fascinating to learn about and see where our city water originates from, and how it;s processed. Lastly, it was most important to meet all the dedicated unsung heroes that work hard behind the scenes in all areas of city government.”  
The next Citizen’s Academy will be held in October 2024. Residents living within Clermont City Limits who are at least 18 years of age are eligible to participate. For more information, see or contact Laurie Windham, Public Information Officer at or 352-241-7345.
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