Learn about Town Government through Hillsborough’s Citizens Academy

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017
Learn about Town Government through Hillsborough’s Citizens Academy

Are you interested in learning more about how the Town of Hillsborough operates? Take part in the town’s third annual Citizens Academy!

Beginning March 8, the town will offer a free seven-week course aimed at helping citizens increase their knowledge of town government as well as their interest and ability in influencing and participating in town decisions. Classes will take place 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through April 19, with one Saturday class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 25 to tour the town’s utilities system.

“Even though we’re a small town, town government and services can be complicated,” Mayor Tom Stevens said. “The Citizens Academy is designed to provide participants a quick but comprehensive overview of how our town government works. Citizens who want to get involved in their community benefit because they can learn in a few weeks what might otherwise take years to figure out. Our town benefits by having more knowledgeable volunteers on our various advisory boards or simply more knowledgeable feedback from citizens about how we’re doing.”

Participants can expect to learn about:

  • Hillsborough’s form of government and how the town conducts business.
  • The work of the town’s advisory boards.
  • Planning responsibilities, including development reviews, zoning and code enforcement.
  • Budget management.
  • Water and sewer operations.
  • Police and fire operations.
  • Other town operations, including the Public Works Department and the Water and Sewer Billing and Collections Office.

Wednesday sessions will be held at various locations around town. The Saturday session will include a tour of several town facilities with transportation provided.

The program is limited to 25 participants, with priority going to citizens who live or work within the town’s limits and customers connected to the town’s water system. Fill out an online application or pick up a paper copy at one of the following locations:

  • Town Hall, 101 E. Orange St.
  • Town Hall Annex, 137 N. Churton St.
  • Police Station, 127 N. Churton St.

Citizens Academy is an addition to the town’s Hillsborough University, a professional training program offered since 2002 to employees who want to excel in their work and prepare for greater responsibilities. Past offerings have included courses focused on budgeting and program justification; conflict management, communications and problem-solving skills; personnel, supervision and leadership; and practical writing.

The town also offers a Citizens Police Academy to introduce citizens to the work officers do, including sessions on uniformed patrol, the legal process, criminal and drug investigations, community services and the K-9 unit. The most recent Citizens Police Academy was offered in summer 2016.

For more information on Citizens Academy, visit the Citizens Academy webpage or contact Assistant to the Town Manager Jen Della Valle by email or by phone at 919-732-1270, ext. 81. The deadline to apply is March 1.