Editorial: Put the citizen in the Citizens Government Academy

It's been said "You can't fight City Hall."

While we reject that defeatist mentality, if you do want to get involved in some issue that involves the city of Dalton, it is best to have as much information as possible before undertaking such a task. Happily, the city of Dalton is here to help. The city is offering a Citizens Government Academy on certain days in September and October and you're invited to enroll.

You may have seen the ads. The city is calling it "Dalton 101: The most in-depth look into your local government."

"If you want to know more about your local government and how decisions are made that affect our city, please join us for the city of Dalton’s Citizens Government Academy 2019," the city says on its website. "Over the course of nine sessions on Tuesday nights in September and October, this program will give you an up-close look at every aspect of the city’s operations including public safety, public works, parks and recreation, and more. Sessions will include presentations from city leaders and tours of city facilities. You’ll learn how the city’s government works, meet the people who run the city’s departments, and gain a greater understanding of how the employees of the city of Dalton are working to make this a great place to work and live."

It reads like an offer too good to refuse.

Too often, citizens in Dalton and pretty much everywhere in this country gripe about their government but refuse to take responsibility for it.

"I can go to their meetings but they won't listen to me," some people say.

"What good does it do for me to show up when they already have their minds made up?" is another constant refrain.

You see these sentiments and others of the same ilk fairly often in our Forum that runs each day. If that is the way you approach your elected representatives, then you get the government you deserve.

Here, city of Dalton officials are inviting your participation, they want to arm you with information so that you can better assess how they are doing their jobs and meeting the needs of the people they work for, you. So we recommend you take advantage of the Citizens Government Academy and become a student. Then hold the elected officials and others accountable so that together you and they make Dalton the great place we all want to see it be.

You can register for the academy at www.cityofdalton-ga.gov/govacad.

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