Joella West: City 101 is a great way to get involved in Steamboat |

Joella West: City 101 is a great way to get involved in Steamboat

Before I got my current job, I was in a position where I was often contacted by people who were thinking about moving here. No one ever asked me about real estate, but every single one of the conversations revolved around ways to get involved in the community.

With north of 100 nonprofit organizations, it’s not hard to find worthy ways to spend time. That’s amazing and wonderful, but the other amazing and wonderful thing is that, unlike almost everywhere we’ve all come from, this is a city that invites you to learn about how it works, meet the people who make it happen and experience some of these jobs for yourself.

For the modest investment of one day per month for six months, you gain a real understanding of each department, an appreciation of what it takes to run them and an opportunity to do a few things that you’ve probably never done before — drive a city bus? Operate a snowplow? Steer the Zamboni around the ice rink? And meet many of the people who do these things for a living.

You even get the best-ever quick course in where the money goes — taught entirely with jelly beans and mason jars by Finance Director Kim Weber. In the end, you come away with new friends and new knowledge. So I encourage you to sign up for City 101. I did, and look what happened to me. The new sessions begins in December.

For more information, go to

Joella West is a member of Steamboat Springs City Council and 2016 alumna City 101

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