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A Great Way to Get to Know Your City
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Decatur 101 Begins 15th Class

Decatur 101, designed to educate the community about city government, begins Thursday, Feb. 20. The class runs for seven weeks and includes information about how the City of Decatur works, who is responsible for what and what steps you can take to make a difference. The class ends on Thursday, April 3, with a session devoted to City Schools of Decatur.

Classes are held on Thursdays. The morning class is 10 a.m.-noon and the evening class is 7-9 p.m., with optional tours of various city buildings at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The program includes an optional Smart Growth Walking Tour for both classes on one Saturday in March.

Classes are held in city buildings and the school session will be at one of the school facilities. Classes cover such topics as history, development, budget, emergency management, boards and commissions, and volunteer opportunities. They are free and open to the first 35 applicants. Currently there is a waiting list for the 2014 class.

For more information or to register, email linda.harris@decaturga.com or call 678-553-6512. Be sure to include your mailing address along with your name, phone number, email address and preference of morning or evening class.

Class outline
Decatur 101 graduates
What participants say

Decatur 101 is a popular program of classes offered annually by the City of Decatur to educate citizens about our city government. The goals of the program are:

  • To increase the number of informed and involved citizens in Decatur; and
  • To "put a face" on local government, making it more accessible to the community.
Each class consists of five two-hour morning sessions or five two-hour evening sessions focusing on specific areas of government. The sessions are conducted in various city buildings, including the police station, public works building, city hall, and the recreation center. Classes are limited to 40 participants and are filled first-come, first-serve. 


Decatur 101 Graduates
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 2012 Evening Class

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2011 - Morning Class

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2008 - Morning Class

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2007 - Morning Class

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Class Outline
Each class consists of five two-hour evening sessions focusing on specific areas of government. The sessions are conducted in various city buildings, including the police station, public works building, city hall, and the recreation center. Classes are limited to 40 participants.

Smart Growth Walking Tour (Optional)

Session 1
Held at the Police Station, begins with a welcome from the mayor. Topics include history of the city, form of government, role of the city manager, strategic plan and economic development. Also includes a tour of the Police Station and a quick overview of that department.

Session 2
Held at the Public Works building, includes overview of sanitation and facilities maintenance, codes, inspections and permits, and engineering. Also includes a tour of the Public Works facility and vehicles.

Session 3
Held at City Hall and includes a tour of the City Hall. Participants learn about the Administrative Services department including budget, taxes, millage rate, technology, accounting & revenue. Also includes an overview of Emergency Management and updates on current initiatives such as Bond Project updates.

Session 4
Held at City Hall. Participants learn about the various boards and commissions and participate in a mock Planning Commission Meeting.  Also includes information about the Community Transportation Plan.

Session 5
Held at the Decatur Recreation Center and includes a tour of the facility and a brief overview of the Active Living and Children & Youth Services Divisions. City volunteer organizations make brief presentations and participants have a Q&A session with the mayor and commissioners. The mayor and commissioners conduct a graduation ceremony, and participants receive a certificate and a commemorative T-shirt. Participants also fill out evaluation forms that provide us with ideas and suggestions for improving the Decatur 101 program.

Results
In the years Decatur 101 classes have been offered, many graduates have:

  • Run for office
  • Served on volunteer boards and commissions
  • Volunteered to help with festivals and other local events and activities
  • Activated a neighborhood organization complete with newsletter and website
  • Helped with subsequent Decatur 101 classes
  • Participated in the Citizens Public Safety Academy
  • Participated in budget focus groups
  • Adapted the Decatur 101 format for high school students
  • Participated in the strategic planning process as participants and facilitators
  • And much, much more

Next Class
Decatur 101 classes are scheduled each March. If you would like to attend, or have questions, contact:
Linda Harris
Assistant Director, Community & Economic Development
City of Decatur, Georgia
404-371-8386
Linda.Harris@decaturga.com
www.decaturga.com
P.O. Box 220, Decatur GA 30031

What Participants Say
Here's what Decatur 101 graduates say about their experiences in the program: "The most fun I have had in a learning environment since my second year of law school." . . . "We now know the city listens as well as how to make our voices heard." . . . "Thank you for quality city leadership and a quality course." . . . "Every city should have this kind of program." . . . "Decatur 101 exceeded my expectations. I will include it on my resume." . . . "It was awesome. It makes it a lot easier to write that tax check."

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Last updated: 5/23/2014 4:35:19 PM