WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Applications are open for the City of Wichita Falls’ 2023 City Hall Citizen’s Academy.

City Public Information Officer Chris Horgen sat down with Carney Porter on Thursday, March 2, to talk about all the benefits of signing up for the upcoming academy.

Carney Porter: Well, Chris Horgen is joining us now. He’s here to tell us all about the upcoming Citizen’s Academy in Wichita Falls. Thanks for joining us today.

Chris Horgen: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. This is something we do. We’ve done it for the last two years. This was the third year we’ve done it. And it is super, super cool. I didn’t realize how cool it was until I got to be part of it last year, but it’s eight weeks starting March 23rd, so 3-23-23, of learning what the city – how it’s run, what all the departments do.

You go from the mayor all the way down to the people who who clean the sewer lines out to keep them moving. I mean, it is absolutely top to bottom. Every department, every facet of it’s covered. And this year, we’re really excited. We’re going to take a lot of tours, and we’re going to have like some hands-on stuff. And it’s really it’s really going to be an inside- and you’re going to get a Key to the City at the end.

Carney Porter: That’ll be good. We’ll see, hands on, though, for sure, is it gives you that deeper appreciation. When you’re in the thick of it, you really get that that sense of, you know, that better understanding of what’s going on and the day to day of those of those employees.

Chris Horgen: Yeah, and it’s you know, a lot of people just don’t understand how all that works, right? How water gets moved from the lake to your faucet. I mean, we go through the process. You’re going to learn. You’re gonna learn how to do it. You’re going to learn how the finance team works, how the budget’s done every year.

It’s really- there’s some intricate details, but it’s really, really informational. And we’ve already got a bunch of people signed up, and we want more.

Carney Porter: And how can those people sign up who are looking to do so?

Chris Horgen: I was waiting for you to ask me that.

Carney Porter: I know you were.

Chris Horgen: It’s real simple: just go to wichitafallstx.gov, and there is a little button on that home page that says City Hall Citizen’s Academy. And you click on that and it leads you right to the application.

There’s also a background check because we do go to the police department, and we’re in some sensitive areas there. So we’ve got to make sure that everybody’s on the up and up to go into those places. So we’re excited.

Carney Porter: It’s going to be a good time. Real fast, is there a part of it that stood out to you last year that you’re excited for this year?

Chris Horgen: You know, I loved going through Public Works. It was the neatest thing. We were at the Cypress Water treatment plant, went in the lab, we got to see all these really cool hands on demonstrations.

Carney Porter: Well, it does take a village, so you get to see all the working parts. So make sure you sign up if you’re interested. We’ll have all the details over on our website. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Chris Horgen: I apprecaite it. Thanks.