A new series in Union County will educate residents about the basics of local government.
Modeled on a longtime successful course in Charlotte, Civics 101 will cover everything from the Union County Board of Commissioners to how Powell Bill funds are used.
The course is sponsored by the Union County League of Women Voters. Member Lynda Paxton, former mayor of Stallings, said it should teach people more about how government works on the county and municipal level.
“We hope that it will get them more engaged and that they will continue to be more engaged in local government, because that’s where they can have the most impact,” Paxton said.
The fee is $30, and more courses are planned.
A few graduates in Charlotte have gone on to run successfully for public office, although that’s not the purpose of the course, Paxton said.
Civics 101 will include discussions, question-and-answer sessions, visits to local government meetings and talks from local leaders who will offer a behind-the-scenes perspective, Paxton said.
Each of the course’s five interactive meetings will last about 2 1/2 hours. At the first meeting, on March 16, residents will sit in on part of a Union County commissioners meeting, then discuss what they observed.
Topics at other sessions include town government, the court system, county fire services and the Union County Public Schools Board of Education.
Paxton said many residents had questions about fire service, as different parts of the county have different types of fire departments and different ways of paying for it.
Presenters will include Superior Court Judges David Lee and Chris Bragg; Board of Elections Director John Whitley; former Union County Commissioners Lanny Openshaw and Tracy Kuehler; former North Carolina Sen. Fern Shubert; Fire Marshal Kevin Rigoli; Clerk of Superior Court J.R. Rowell; Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey; and former Board of Education member David Scholl.
Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts will deliver the keynote address at the final session April 20.
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at email@example.com.
Want to go?
Register online at http://unionnclwv.com or by sending a check for $30 for registration to Bernie Parker, Treasurer, 541 Cottonfield Circle, Waxhaw, NC 28173.