Test drive a city bus, fire a snow gun and more in Steamboat’s upcoming City 101 class | SteamboatToday.com

Test drive a city bus, fire a snow gun and more in Steamboat’s upcoming City 101 class

Sam Wisecup, a mechanic for the city of Steamboat Springs, works to repair the augers on a large snowblower. Wisecup says he was "born to turn wrenches."
Scott Franz

City 101 schedule

Classes generally run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 11: Welcome and introductions, Home Rule Charter, City Council, City Attorney, City Manager

Feb 8: Finance, police

March 8: Planning, Parks and Community Services

March 29: City partnerships

April 12: Engineering, water, fleet, wastewater

May 10: Human resources, general services, fire

May 31: General services, parks and community services

June 14: Airport, streets, transit

— Wanna test drive a city snow plow?

Think you have what it takes to drive a city bus?

Or maybe you just want to fire up a snow gun at Howelsen Hill, test your firefighting skills or see what kind of planning commissioner you might be.

Steamboat Springs residents can do all of that and more if they are lucky enough to be admitted into the city’s third City 101 class.

The free class allows citizens to go behind the scenes of city operations and learn how their government functions on a day-to-day basis.

Attendees of the last City 101 class had rave reviews when they graduated in July.

“The best part was showing my kids pictures of me driving a city bus and a plow truck,” Megan Moore-Kemp said. “There were lots of good parts.”

Dustin Lindahl said the program was very hands-on, and he was never bored.

Michelle Dover said she found the class about the city’s finances the most interesting piece.

The program is not only about residents getting the thrill of driving a piece of heavy machinery.

On the planning department day, class members were presented with complex planning proposals previous city planners and planning commissioners had to vet and consider.

The class members then acted as city planners and compared their results to what actually happened in the city’s history.

A tour of the police department included a chance to try out an active shooter response drill on a computer simulator.

And the class also learned how firefighters navigate a smoky building.

The City 101 class includes city employees who learn more about how the other parts of their government function.

“When they are done, we get employees who really understand the breadth of the city and make connections across the city,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, assistant to City Manager Gary Suiter said. “We get a more cohesive organization, and we also get employees who are more equipped to serve as ambassadors.”

DelliQuadri said the city also benefits from having community members come along for the ride.

“We value transparency, and we want our residents to really understand what we do, how we do it and why, “ DelliQuadri said. “It’s a transparency piece, it’s a civics education piece and it allows community members to serve as ambassadors.”

The program is entering its third year.

The city is looking for 10 to 12 community members to join the City 101 class with 10 to 12 city employees.

Applications are due Dec. 13 and are available at the end of this story.

Classes are held about one day every month from January to June.

In addition to the education and driving experiences, class members are also treated to lunch.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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