Leadership Program

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The City of San Clemente offers a Leadership San Clemente program that is free to San Clemente citizens.  The goal of the program is to provide residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to address community issues and to work together for the enhancement of our community.  The program consists of eight classes that take place on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30p.m.  Each class focuses on a different aspect of City government (for example, Finance, Community Development, Public Safety, etc.)  At the final session, participants participate in a guided bus tour of the City, followed by a graduation ceremony at the Casa Romantica. Classes are limited to the first 23 residents that apply, so early applications are encouraged. 

Leadership San Clemente application form

What is the purpose of the Leadership San Clemente Educational Program?

The direction and success of a community is determined by the effectiveness of its leaders and informed citizenry. The goal of Leadership San Clemente is to establish an educational forum that will provide San Clemente residents the knowledge and skills to address community issues and to work together for the enhancement of our community.

Through this forum, Leadership San Clemente seeks to:

  • Heighten awareness and understanding of the community through exposure to current and future issues of importance facing our community.
  • Empower San Clemente residents with a knowledge of the community and the role local government plays in the community, so that they can effectively share that knowledge with others.

How does the program work?

Leadership San Clemente participants will attend eight 2 1/2-hour sessions, one night each week, and will be given a guided tour of the City. Each session will focus on one of the following themes:

  • General Government - Introduction and welcome by the mayor followed by an overview of the City, its history, financial position and "general" government responsibilities presented by the City Manager.
  • Financial & Administrative Services - an overview of the City's budget, investments, and governmental accounting.
  • Community Development - a discussion of various land use issues, such as planning, zoning, building, housing and code enforcement, and how decisions on these issues impact the community.
  • Public Works/Utilities - an insight into vital community services, such as traffic, street maintenance, sidewalks, street lights, water, sewers and storm drains.
  • Beaches, Parks & Recreation - a look at the recreational facilities and programs that enhance the quality of life in San Clemente.
  • Police Safety (Orange County Sheriffs Department and Marine Safety) - A discussion of police related community services and current and emerging public safety issues as well as Marine Safety operations.
  • Fire Services - an overview of fire safety, medical emergency responses and related roles and responsibilities, followed by Capistrano Unified School District- Discussion of current and future status of local schools and their curriculum.
  • Tour of the City followed by reception

What is the Application Process?

Applicants from all segments of the community are encouraged to participate. The ideal leadership class will include individuals with varied educational and cultural backgrounds, who live in various sections of the community. Class size is limited and applications are accepted on a first-apply, first-accepted basis; consequently, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Leadership San Clemente program will be notified by mail. Applications not selected will be on file for consideration in the next Leadership San Clemente program. To apply for the Leadership San Clemente program, or for more information, please call (949) 361-8200, visit the City Clerk's Office at City Hall, located at 910 Calle Negocio or send your request for an application via e-mail to A copy of the Leadership San Clemente application form can be downloaded by clicking here.

Where do I find out more information about the Leadership San Clemente Program?

Contact the City Clerk's Office at (949) 361-8200 or click on the E-Mail link below.

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