Valdosta 101 Provides Behind-the-Scenes View of Local Government

Valdostans and other local citizens who want an inside look at their city government are urged to sign up for the 11th annual Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation, which takes place from April 6 - May 18, 2020. 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 13, 2020.

Participants of the program will meet on seven consecutive Mondays, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and all materials required for the class will be provided. Those who complete the program will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of their local government through face-to-face interactions with city department heads and other community leaders.

The sessions include several facility tours, guest speakers, and presentations on the following:

  • city government overview
  • public safety
  • municipal court
  • engineering
  • public works
  • utilities
  • financial administration
  • economic development
  • recreation
  • community development
  • planning and zoning
  • neighborhood development

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. 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.

The Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation, much like the two other Valdosta volunteer programs available (the Citizens Police Academy and Citizens Fire Academy), is designed to give citizens valuable knowledge of resources through a behind-the-scenes view of local government. A number of these program graduates have utilized their experiences and knowledge gained by pursuing 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 Ashlyn Johnson at 229-259-3548. Completed applications should be returned to the Public Information Office, Valdosta City Hall, 216 E Central Avenue, 3rd Floor, or completed online by the March 13 deadline.