Citizen Leadership Institute

The next Apache Junction Citizen Leadership Institute is scheduled for January-April 2021. This is your chance to learn about how municipal government works and find ways to engage in your community

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!

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

CLI 2021 Schedule

Jan. 13 Getting to Know the City of Apache Junction

  • 6:30 pm Introductions
  • 6:45 pm Welcome & Overview, Mayor
  • 7:00 pm Structure & Role of City Government, Bryant Powell
  • Internal organization of the city - departments & functions
  • The City Manager’s Office; what we can & can’t do…
  • 8:00 pm History/Overview, Al Bravo

Jan. 27 Budget and More

  • 6:30 pm Introducing the Budget, Matt Busby Sources of revenue & types of expenditures Local budget highlights - how priorities are established
  • 7:30 pm Economic Development, Janine Solley/E’Lan Vallender What is it and why do we do it? Downtown Apache Junction The Business Advocate - your ombudsman in the development
  • 8:00 pm Revenue Development

Feb. 10 Development Services 6:30 pm

  • Development Services, Larry Kirch An overview of the department
  • 6:45 pm Proactive Abatement The changing face of Apache Junction We’re here from the government & we are here to help!
  • 7:15 pm Planning, Zoning & the General Plan, Rudy Esquivias General Plan, Land Development Code & Zoning Ordinance State land issues: why they matter to Apache Junction 7:45 pm Planning & Zoning Role Play, Development Services staff

Feb. 24 Roads and Utilities

  • 6:30 pm Public Works - Building for Tomorrow, Mike Wever Organizational structure, roles & responsibilities Street maintenance & rehabilitation
  • 7:15 pm Apache Junction Water District, Mike Loggins Water quality & service updates
  • 8:00 pm  Sewer District, Darron Anglin

March 10 Animals, Law & Order

  • 6:30 pm Paws & Claws Care Center
  • 7:30 pm Police Department, Chief Thomas Kelly Community policing & service delivery Major current initiatives & programs
  • 8:15 pm Municipal Court, James Hazel Courts jurisdiction & how fines are determined A typical day in court…

March 24 Education, Recreation, Reading

  • 6:30 pm AJUSD – Superintendent Krista Anderson
  • 7:15 pm Parks and Recreation, Liz Langenbach The park system Facilities, programs & events
  • 8:15 pm Library Books, programs, services & events Library Board & other volunteer opportunities

April 14 City Attorney, City Clerk and Beyond

  • 6:30 pmCity Attorney’s Office, Joel Stern & Eric Yuva Roles, responsibilities & importance to city government Types of cases & results
  • 7:00 pmCity Clerk’s Office Functions of the office
  • 7:45 pmSuperstition Fire and Medical
  • 8:30 pmFederal, State and County representatives Functions of the office & working with local constituents

April 28 Ninth Inning

  • 6:30 pm City Attorney’s Office, Joel Stern & Eric Yuva Roles, responsibilities & importance to city government Types of cases & results
  • 6:30 pm Marketing & Communications, Matt McNulty Public information, community relations & neighborhoods Technology, videos, TV & the internet
  • 7:00 pm News Media
  • 7:30 pm Non-profits/Volunteers/Chamber


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.