Learn how local government works at Lumpkin County 101

  • Learn how local government works at Lumpkin County 101
    Learn how local government works at Lumpkin County 101

Do you know what Lumpkin County’s public officials do as your elected representative? Unless you’ve had a particular problem that required their help, probably not.
Do you know what the county’s commissioners can and cannot do? How taxes are determined? Where your money goes and what services county departments provide?
Starting Feb. 10, 2020 those curious about county government will have the chance to learn answers to some of their questions as a member of the first class of Lumpkin County 101.
It’s a program County Manager Stan Kelley has been working on for several years, he said.
“If people don’t use a particular service they don’t realize what all county government does,” he said. “We want to inform the citizens, let them know what we do, from elections to tags, Parks & Rec … and we want to get more people engaged in government. A common issue today is a lack of citizen participation in the governing process. Local government works best when citizens are well informed and involved in the decision making process.”
The class will meet Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Administration Building as well as occasionally off-site.
“We want to make it not only informative, but fun. There will be some ride-alongs with EMS and fire, visits to the Senior Center, the county shop, the Animal Shelter,” Kelley said.
“It will be an informal atmosphere. It will give people an inside look at the day-to-day operations, things they never even think about,” said Division Director of Community and Employee Services Alicia Davis. “We hope people will attend and take away that we have reasons for what we do. They may want to work to get some things changed. This class will tell them how to do that.”
Subjects covered in the 12-week class include:
    • functions of the BOC and county manager
    • finance—budget, debt and investment, risk management and internal auditing
    • tax commissioner and tax assessor duties
    • emergency services—EMA, EMS and Fire
    • county clerk and Dept. of Elections and Registration
    • Trivia Night, human resources and library
    • Animal Shelter and fleet maintenance
    • planning
    • Senior Center and Parks & Rec
    • roads and bridges and public works
    • Water Authority and Development Authority
    • UGA Extension Service, Health Dept. and a final exam
Yes, there will be a final exam, and a graduation banquet as well.
Kelley encourages participants to ask questions of the different department staff members who will be talking about their jobs and how government functions.
“We want to encourage you to be an active participant; to ask questions and get to know our staff of dedicated people who serve you,” he said, “and build relationships with those of us who serve you on a daily basis.”
“Lots of the sessions cover more than one department, and the classes are pretty fast moving,” David added.
Only 30 spots are available for Lumpkin County 101. Applications are available in the Human Resources office on the first floor of the Administration Building or on the county’s webpage, lumpkincounty.gov.