Guide to Garner 2018-19 edition - Page 14

Citizen Engagement The Town of Garner places great emphasis on citizen engagement and has enshrined it as a key objective in its current strategic plan. Whether it’s gathering public input for new long-range plans, strengthening relationships in the community or forging partnerships that help citizen-led initiatives to succeed, the Town government understands the importance of engaging citizens. Perhaps the Town’s most robust, ongoing effort to better inform and engage its residents is the Garner 101 citizens academy. Hundreds of residents have graduated from the course since its inception in fall 2013. Garner 101 is a series of nine weekly classes—plus a graduation dinner and ceremony—designed to teach citizens about the Town government. The 12 Town seeks to empower citizens with knowledge about their municipal government that will benefi t their families and neighborhoods while also fostering stronger relations between citizens and their local government. Students in the free course participate in presentations by Town departments and key service providers such as Raleigh Public Utilities and Garner Volunteer Fire-Rescue, Inc. Classes include enlightening, behind-the-scenes facility tours. The Town now offers a Midday Garner 101 in the fall and an evening Garner 101 in the spring. Both courses are available on a fi rst- come, fi rst-served basis. To register for the class, or for more information, contact Neighborhood Improvement Manager Reginald Buie at or by calling him at (919) 773-4446. The Town has expanded its engagement and education efforts by launching the Citizens Leadership Academy, a series of classes offered to help residents develop the skills to be a neighborhood or community leader. Graduates of the course are positioned to go on to leadership roles in neighborhood organizations, citizen advisory boards (see sidebar on page 13) and more.