Citizen Leadership Institute

The 2020 Citizen Leadership Institute is coming in January. Watch for information on registration soon.

There is no charge to attend the Citizen Leadership Institute, but attendees must live, work or volunteer within the city limits of Apache Junction. Attendees are required to attend eight of the 10 sessions, attend one City Council meeting and one Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to be eligible for graduation. 

Sign Up Now!

  • Online Registration - Opening soon!
  • Downloadable Registration - Coming soon
  • Schedule and Info - Coming soon

For additional information, please contact Apache Junction's Public Information Officer at (480) 474-5080 or email.

The 2019 class schedule:

Jan. 9    

Getting to Know the City of Apache Junction

Welcome & Overview, Mayor Jeff Serdy
Structure & Role of City Government, Bryant Powell
Internal organization of the city - an overview of depts & functions
The City Manager’s Office; what we can & can’t do…
History/Overview, Al Bravo

Jan. 23

Budget and Market

Introducing the Budget, Matt Busby 
Sources of revenue & types of expenditures
Local budget highlights - how priorities are established
Economic Development, Janine Solley & E’Lan Vallender 
What is it and why do we do it?
Downtown Apache Junction - the DRIS
The Business Advocate - your Ombudsman in the development
Fox Young, Friends of AJ/Community Development Corporation

Feb. 6

Development Services

Development Services, Larry Kirch 
An overview of the department
Proactive Abatement
The changing face of Apache Junction
We’re here from the government & we are here to help!
Zoning & the General Plan, Rudy Esquivias
The General Plan, Land Development Code & Zoning Ordinance
State land issues: why they matter to Apache Junction
Planning & Zoning Role Play, Development Services staff

Feb. 27

Roads and Utilities

Public Works - Building for Tomorrow, Mike Wever 
Organizational structure, roles & responsibilities
Street maintenance & rehabilitation
Community programs
Apache Junction Water District, Frank Blanco
Water quality & service updates
Sewer District, Darron Anglin

March 13

Law & Order  

Police Department, Chief Thomas Kelly 
Community policing & service delivery
Major current initiatives & programs
Municipal Court, James Hazel 
Courts jurisdiction & how fines are determined
A typical day in court…
Paws & Claws Care Center

March 27

Recreation, Reading & More!

Beyond Fun & Games, Nick Blake & Liz Langenbach  
The park system
Facilities, programs & events
Tour of the MGC
Beyond the Books, Tracie Curtis 
Books, programs, services & events
Library Board & other volunteer opportunities

April 10

City Government and Beyond

The City Attorney’s Office, Joel Stern & Eric Yuva 
Roles, responsibilities & importance to city government
Types of cases & results
City Hall & City Clerk’s Office
Functions of the office
Elections & a look at public records
Superstition Fire and Medical
Federal, State and County representatives
Functions of the office & working with local constituents

April 24

In the Community

Marketing & Communications, Matt McNulty
Public information, community relations & neighborhoods
Technology, videos, TV & the internet
Local News Media


The Citizen Leadership Institute began in 1998. The course content was derived after examining similar programs of other east valley cities, then customizing it to fit Apache Junction. 

Any resident living within the City limits of Apache Junction, or non-resident who currently works or volunteers in Apache Junction, is invited and encouraged to participate in the Citizen Leadership Institute. 

As diverse as our community is in Apache Junction, so are the students. Individuals participate that range from seniors who have lived in the area over 20 years, to those who have just moved to the area. The young and young at heart are encouraged to be a part of this learning experience. The diversity works very well as it brings to the table a variety of points of view and a range of opinions on the various subject matters that are presented. 

Preparing for the Future

One of the goals is to give interested citizens an orientation for serving as possible future members on a City Board or Commission as well as being well-informed members of the community. 

"The City is powerful in shaping our own destiny and future within the guidelines that have been set, and I think the more people we have that are familiar with the process, the better off our community is going to be," said Mayor John Insalaco. "...there's a need to have somewhat of a training ground or that when we have positions available on our Boards and Commissions we have people to draw from. It is important for citizens to know what the City's responsibilities are and what are its limitations."

The program has been successful in its goal of having residents participate on a City Board or Commission. Over 33% of all graduates have gone on to serve. Currently, 70% of all board and commission members are graduates of the Institute. The pool of graduates is a great resource to invite to special events such as Town Halls, Open Houses, the Open Space Task Force Committee, among others.