(above) Citizens Academy participant Mark Leo addresses County Commissioners at graduation. May 7, 2018
If you do not understand how your county government works, you cannot make accurate decisions on who would represent you and on the issues facing the county that directly relate to your lifestyle, your safety, your quality of life, your pocketbook and your property. That is the great tragedy of modern USA – most citizens do not understand their government. Worse, they do not understand that they need to be involved, even if at its simplest that means being informed so they can vote intelligently on the issues and candidates.
Most people who take these classes are amazed at what they learn – and at what they did not know. You may not run for office after taking the class, but I’ll bet you will inevitably find yourself gently correcting others who have quite inaccurate, sometimes outrageous understandings of how the county works.
Most come away saying, “Wow, I had no idea...”
Just understanding the scope of the county’s responsibilities and operations will make you feel better about how your taxes are spent – or may get you in front of the commission to offer your opinion on how they should be spent, though if you do, you will present your view based on knowledge and facts. That’s how the best solutions are found in our form of government. And when that happens, we all win, no matter what our opinion of a candidate is or our position on a single issue.
You won’t regret becoming informed. -Jim Hunter, Fall 2016