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The original item was published from 8/4/2021 8:31:02 AM to 9/2/2021 5:00:05 PM.

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Posted on: August 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Register Now for Puyallup 101

Puyallup, WA – Have you ever wondered how a City government operates? Or, perhaps how a local government manages its budget? Now is your opportunity with Puyallup 101, an eight-week civic course on the City of Puyallup and how it operates and functions. Residents, who are interested in registering for this free course, can visit the City’s website here.

Beginning on September 9, 2021, class participants will get a birds-eye view of the City’s organizational structure and take a deep dive into how each department of the City operates. Students also get an opportunity to tour City facilities and ask questions to staff and elected officials. In addition to learning about the City, students can also learn how to become more involved by volunteering on City commissions, projects, events, and other ways to make an impact.

City Manager, Steve Kirkelie, comments on the genesis of Puyallup 101, and the objectives that the program achieves. “We started this program in 2019 as a way to get residents interested in local government, and to offer a behind-the-scenes look into what we do every day,” says Kirkelie. “Communicating what we do, and how we operate, helps our residents become more informed about their government and how decisions we make affect their lives.”

Education is a key component of the program, including shedding light on common misconceptions about local government. Community Relations Coordinator, Erica Unruh, who has managed the program since its inception, elaborates on how Puyallup 101 is able to bridge the gap between perception and reality.

“A common misconception we run into is our organizational structure,” says Unruh. “We are a Council-Manager form of government, which means we have a City Council who sets policy and a City Manager who oversees daily operations. This and other topics are covered in the courses. We encourage people to sign up so that they can become more informed and engaged with their local government.”

To be eligible for Puyallup 101, participants needs to meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a resident, business owner, or employee within the City.
  2. Be at least 18 years old.
  3. Must not be running for, or currently serving in, a political office.
  4. Must commit to attending at least six out of the eight classes to receive a certificate of completion.

Each class is held in-person from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Thursdays for eight weeks starting on September 9, 2021. Registration for Puyallup 101 begins on August 4, 2021 and can be done by visiting the City’s website here. The deadline to apply is September 2, 2021, at 5:00 pm. Following the deadline, class participants will be notified and sent course materials.

All students are subject to a criminal background check prior to consideration for Puyallup 101. As part of the course schedule, students will take tours of public safety facilities that require security clearance. Criminal background checks are done prior to entering these facilities to maintain safety protocols and to mitigate potential exposure of sensitive information.

For questions and more information about Puyallup 101, please contact Eric Johnson or Tulika Makharia at

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