The Dunwoody Government 101 educational series is set to premiere later this month.
Officials said the eight-week course — free and open to Dunwoody residents age 18 and older — is designed to enhance citizens’ understanding of city government and offers the community a chance to experience and discover the city’s primary undertakings.
“This type of community education serves an important function in a democracy, especially in a large and complex society like ours,” said Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis. “Our goal is to help create an informed and involved community and access to this information is all part of helping promote civic engagement and community collaboration.”
The two-hour Dunwoody 101 sessions will be Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Sept. 25 through Nov. 13.
The series will provide participants with a look inside each city department through a blend of demonstrations, presentations and tours — all conducted in a casual format at numerous sites throughout town, said Edie Damann, Dunwoody marketing and public relations manager.
“We envision graduates of this program coming away with a solid understanding of how their local government works, how things are accomplished and how they can be a part of it,” Damann said. “We want them to become ambassadors within the community, encouraging their friends and neighbors to become involved in Dunwoody civic and community affairs.”
Community Development Director Steve Dush is among the department heads whose operation will be studied as part of the Dunwoody 101 endeavor.
Participants are expected to leave the series with a fundamental understanding of the role the community development department plays in the context of city infrastructure, he said.
“[Residents] will receive a general overview of the planning process from the visioning of comprehensive planning to the implementation of the plans and everything in between,” said Dush. “We will explore our current and future projects, outline the procedures of how community plans get implemented, staff’s role in supporting the city’s various boards and committees and outline how the public fits into and is integral to all these processes.”
If the level of responses to the news of the series’ debut is any indication, public interest in Dunwoody Government 101 is sky-high.
“We received numerous calls, emails and letters regarding the course and its topics and had several people register the day we announced the program,” said Damann. “Since then, the class has filled to capacity and we now have a growing waiting list.”