Editorial: Learning government from the inside

June 27, 2014 

People often don’t understand the reach of their local government, nor the limitations placed upon it. The Garner Citizens Academy is a great way to learn all that and more.

We can not count all the times we have heard people complain that their government is running roughshod over their rights, or is being dismissive of what this person or that person wants.

Oftentimes residents come to public hearings ready to light the place on fire over some perceived slight or some effort by the local government to take this action or that.

But the fact of the matter is, North Carolina municipal governments are regulated fairly closely by the state already.

People can make themselves aware of what is happening with their government early in the process rather than at the last possible moment simply by getting out of the house and attending meetings.

In lieu of that, however, the town of Garner has followed a recent trend among other towns in establishing a Citizen’s Academy.

The 10-week course gives participants an inside look at government: what services it provides, what services it does not, how government goes about its business and how citizens, in the form of town council members, ultimately have the final say in what kinds of things town government does.

Sure, we understand a lot of that stuff is dry. Most of us don’t care how far from the street a house is set. We don’t understand what goes into a bidding process to build a new police station.

But we should care that these things are addressed for our mutual good. The Citizens Academy is a great way to learn more about those who govern you

Commit to the project and you’ll find it a fine investment of your time.

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