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County offers citizens academy

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NASHVILLE — Nash County is again offering a series of classes designed to inform residents about county government.

The Nash County Citizen Academy is one night a week for 10 weeks, offering participants a chance to learn about the inner workings of local county government, said Jacob Ferry, the county’s community development specialist.

There is no fee to attend, but an application needs to be filled out by Jan. 17.

The 2020 Citizens Academy is scheduled for Mondays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with dinner provided.

The dates are Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24; March 9, 16 and 30; April 20 and 27; and May 4. Locations will vary, but each session will be held inside Nash County. Graduation is scheduled to be held at 12:30 p.m. May 18 as part of a regularly scheduled county commissioners meeting.

The academy provides an in-depth look at many functions of county government from a resident’s viewpoint. The courses focus on the sheriff’s office, emergency services, register of deeds, social services, health department, recreation and senior services, aging, elections, the N.C. Cooperative Extension, soil and water conservation, planning and inspections and water and sewer.

“We also learn about travel and tourism, economic development, the community college and the public schools,” an academy brochure states. “This program is coordinated by a single staff member and each session is led by department and division heads. Graduates gain an appreciation for the county’s capacity to meet the needs of the community.”

Participants gain a familiarity with community services, the chance to meet and make connections with other civic-minded residents, knowledge and personal contacts to become more effective leaders in their communities, and a greater understanding of some opportunities to serve the county, according to information provided by county staff.

“Learning about county government helped me appreciate the work county employees do to better all of our lives,” Garry Hodges, who attended the academy in 2018, states in promotional material for the program.

The sign-up period ends Jan. 17. For additional information or to register, contact Patsy McGhee at 252-462-2434 or patsy.mcghee@nashcountync.gov.

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