VALDOSTA — Valdostans and other local citizens who want an inside look at their city government are urged to sign up for the 6th annual Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation, which begins April 6, 2015. The program, an initiative of the Valdosta Mayor and City Council, also includes the participation of up to five high school seniors who have a parent or legal guardian also enrolled in the program. Applications are being accepted by the City of Valdosta through March 20.
Participants of the program will meet on six consecutive Mondays, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will be exposed to the programs and services of city government. The sessions include presentations on the following: City government overview, public safety, municipal court, engineering, public works, utilities, financial administration, industrial and economic development, recreation, community development, planning and zoning and neighborhood development, in addition to several facility tours and guest presentations.
Citizens who complete the program will participate in a special graduation ceremony held in their honor on May 11.
Applicants will undergo a background investigation as part of the application process and must also complete a separate criminal history form that may be obtained upon submission of the completed application. Citizens should be aware that a felony conviction or recent serious misdemeanor conviction may result in an applicant’s exclusion from participation. Personal information given will be kept strictly confidential.
A maximum of 25 people will be selected for the class from citizens who submit a completed application by the deadline and pass the required background checks. If more than 25 people apply, the city will give preference to the applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation is one of three volunteer programs in the City of Valdosta available to citizens—the other two are the Citizens Police Academy and Citizens Fire Academy—designed to give citizens valuable knowledge of resources through a behind-the-scenes view inside local government. A number of graduates of these programs have utilized their experiences and knowledge gained to pursue public service opportunities, such as serving on local boards and commissions and other public offices.
Application forms are available at Valdosta City Hall, the Customer Service Center or the Public Information Office. For more information, contact Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews at (229) 259-3548 or download an application from www.valdostacity.com/publicinformation. Completed applications should be returned to the Public Information Office, Valdosta City Hall Annex, 300 N. Lee Street, Room 102, by the March 20 deadline.
Sementha Mathews: Public Information Officer