Jackson County government offering new Citizens Academy

Western Carolina University faculty and staff who live in Jackson County and want to learn how local government works have an opportunity to apply to participate in the county’s new Citizens Academy.

Also known as “County Government 101” or “Citizens/Neighborhood College,” the eight-week course provides an opportunity to learn about the functions of various county departments. The goals of the course, according to the application’s information sheet, are to “learn how county government operates, let citizens know how they can be involved and give them the chance to meet and make connections with county employees and other civic-minded residents.”

The course will cover the administration or governing body, register of deeds, emergency management, public works, sheriff’s office, court system, health department, social services, planning, permitting and code enforcement, parks and recreation, aging, veterans services, geographic information systems and more.

The course will be offered twice a year for an eight-week period. A two- to three-hour evening session will take place each week.

Applicants must be 18 years old, go through a background check, live in Jackson County and be able to attend all of the sessions. The course is limited to 25 participants.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Aug. 16. Accepted participants will be notified Monday, Aug. 28, and the first session begins Thursday, Sept. 14. Applications are available at the county manager’s office located in Suite A-207 of the Justice and Administration Building, 401 Grindstaff Cove Road in Sylva.

Information courtesy of Haley Smith, Sylva Herald.