Citizen Academy gets off to a good start

Thu, 09/25/2008 - 3:36pm
By: Ben Nelms

It is a good way to find out more about “The City of Homes” and what makes it tick. Now in its 5th year, Newnan Citizen Academy kicked off its six-week course last week.

Kicking off this year’s Citizen Academy was Mayor Keith Brady, who gave the new class an overview of local city government, followed by a walking tour of the historic downtown area from Elizabeth Beers with Tours by Elizabeth.

 “It was the perfect night to do a walking tour, the weather could not have been more accommodating. It was a great start to this year’s academy,” said Newnan Public Information Officer and Citizen Academy hostess Gina Snider. “This year’s class, the city has included some new city venues that previous classes have not toured. I wanted to focus on the city’s many different programs and highlight our city commissions and volunteers.”

 One of the events occurring during the fall of the year, the Newnan Citizen Academy is held every Tuesday night from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. from Sept. 16 through Oct. 14. Class graduation will be held during the Oct. 28 city council meeting. All participants will receive a notebook filled with information relating to each class, a T-shirt and a certificate upon completion, Snider said. 

Snider said the academy is a free six-week course provided to city residents, business owners, and property owners, over the age of 18, to educate and inform the citizens of Newnan about every aspect of city government in Newnan. Classes are limited to 25 people. The course is an intensive, hands-on program on how city departments operate and how critical decisions are made that affect the quality of life in Newnan, Snider explained. Participants are given the opportunity to tour city facilities and hear directly from department managers, professional staff, and elected officials. 

The population growth of Newnan since the 2000 Census, like that of Coweta County, is staggering. The city is home to 28,857 (2007 estimate) people, an increase of 65.3 percent in seven years. The 2006 median household income was $43,000, up from $36,142 in 2000, representing a nearly 20 percent increase.

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