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Government academy enters its third year
Govt Academy pic
Ryan Keylon puts out a fire with instruction from firefighter Chris Gilreath during last week’s Dawson County Citizens Academy class held at the county’s fire training facility. The 10-week course that allows citizens to explore local government continues through November. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

The third annual Dawson County Citizens Academy is underway and proving to be as interesting and informative as in past years.


With more than two dozen residents from all walks of life, ranging in age from 15 to retired couples, the 10-week course offers an up close view of local government.


Lifelong resident Jimmy Hamby, who was elected to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners this summer and will take office in January, said he signed up for the course to better prepare him for his new job.


“I want to learn the operations of all the different county departments. It will make me better when I’m serving the people of Dawson County,” he said.


Taught by Dawson County Government staff, the course gives participants an up-close look at the inner workings of county government through one-on-one interaction with local officials and those responsible for day-to-day operations of government.


“Dawson County is extremely proud to be able to provide this valuable service to our citizens,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner. “It’s very important to be informed of what is going on in your government as the taxpayers who make these services possible.”


The class spent last Tuesday night at the county’s fire training facility where they dressed in firefighting gear and experienced live fire and emergency exercises.


Last week’s class was an eye-opener for resident Jason Reed, who returned from Iraq in January and is currently searching for a job.


“Any free training the county offers I’m going to try to pursue,” said Reed, who has already signed up with the county’s community emergency response team and is looking forward to the fire department’s next volunteer recruit class.


Organizers have also added new components to the course this year.


“Elections [office] was added because it is such a vital component of our government process,” said Government and Community Affairs Director Cathy Brooks. “The library was added because its activities and resources add

greatly to the quality of life in Dawson County.”


The class runs through November and culminates with a graduation ceremony.


For more information, or to have your name placed on the list for next year’s academy, call Cathy Brooks (706) 344-3501.