City of Bel Aire
Citizenship University offers information about how government works, what government does, and the rights and responsibilities of living in Bel Aire, Kansas and the United States. While government may seem intimidating or unresponsive, it does not have to be. Promoting education and open, honest government are two goals to which the City of Bel Aire is committed. Whether you're new to government or just need a civics refresher course, this page is designed to promote understanding between governments and the people they serve. Have a question about local government? Send us an email by clicking here and we'll answer your question. If it's a common question, we'll even publish it on our website.
Sunrise Students take over City Council
Sunrise Christian Academy Government Students took up the reins of City Government on January 7th as part of their annual City Government Day. A total of 41 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors gathered in the Council Chambers to watch their elected colleagues take on the challenges of government.
Each of teacher Peggy O'Donnell's classes elected a City Council Member and the Sunrise Mayor was elected at large. After being sworn in by another student acting as the City Clerk, the Sunrise City Council tackled an agenda packed with controversial issues. Council members discussed issues ranging from motorized scooter laws to the removal of tree branches from private property.
Students in the audience played the roles of Police Chief and Parks Director. Other students acting as concerned citizens offered spirited arguments about the freedom of property and the role of government. The City Council even went into executive session, emerging five minutes later to dismiss the Police Chief, prompting laughter from the audience. After the meeting, students were treated to tour of the Bel Aire Police Station and City Offices.
For more information on Sunrise Christian Academy's Government Day, read the Bel Aire Breeze's February edition.
Could you pass a citizenship test?
Each year, thousands of people apply for U.S. citizenship. One part of this application process is a citizenship test. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the test and chooses from a list of 100 questions. The questions range in difficulty and attempt to assess an understanding of American government, history and culture. A score of 85% is needed to pass the test. The History Channel provides an interactive quiz and listing of all 100 questions on the citizenship test. Do you think you could pass the test?
Take the U.S. Citizenship Quiz
Local Government Dictionary
Government can be very confusing…especially when terms or phrases are used that are not common. The Local Government Dictionary is here to help you navigate the sometimes confusing ways of government.
KOMA and KORA
The Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), are the Kansas laws that provide citizens the right to observe public meetings and have access to public records. KOMA and KORA insure that local governments are transparent and accountable. Both KOMA and KORA apply to city councils, county boards of commissioners and most sub-groups formed to assist them with public business. However, the laws do not apply to private citizens or meetings of private groups (home owner's associations, church groups, private clubs, private businesses, political party caucuses, etc.) or in case of the Executive Session of a governing body. In the City of Bel Aire, all meetings of the City Council and all the boards and commissions are subject to KOMA and KORA. Citizens are encouraged to attend these meetings or examine the records of these bodies, as apart of the City of Bel Aire's commitment to fair and transparent government.
For more information about KOMA and KORA, please visit the Kansas Attorney General's website.