Garner Cleveland Record

Garner takes residents back to school

Garner residents taking the Garner 101 class listen to a presentation at the Demsey Benton Water Treatment plant.
Garner residents taking the Garner 101 class listen to a presentation at the Demsey Benton Water Treatment plant.

The town has taken its residents back to school. But it’s not to learn about history or math. The focus is on the town.

Garner 101 is a 10-week class that teaches residents about local government and the roles different departments play in the overall function of the town.

It is the second year for the classes. Twenty-five people take the class and there are usually two sessions a year.

There was a mix of residents in the class: young, old, white, black, new residents and long-time residents. Most are from Garner, but a couple attend the class from Cleveland. Last week students in the class got to visit the Dempsey Benton Water Treatment plant. They learned how many customers the plant serves and how the water is treated. They learned that there is always someone working around the clock.

Dennee Griffin, 58, who has been a Garner resident for nine months, said she was drawn to the class after browsing through a website. She said she’s learned a lot so far, but she’s really looking forward to the police ride along.

“I have a son-in-law who is a police officer for Wake Forest, and I want to see Garner through the eyes of a public safety officer,” Griffin said.

Phil Partin, 66, a resident of Garner since 1972, said he recently retired and just wanted to give the class a try.

“I wanted to hear how the town works in case I may get involved in any committees later,” he said.

Last Thursday, the students learned about engineering and the inspections department. This Thursday they will learn about the planning department and Garner Revitalization Association.

“We just want to educate the citizens about how the town operates on a day-to-day basis,” Neighborhood Improvement Manager Reginald Buie said. Most of the people don’t realize what each department is responsible for, so it gives them the opportunity to talk to people in different departments and understand what they do.”

Buie said the class hasn’t had enough sessions to determine whether the class is successful, but he remains optimistic.

“The goal is to have better educated people about the town, who may want to serve on a board or commission some day,” Buie said.

Alexander: 919-829-4822;

Twitter: @GarnerCleveland

Class syllabus

▪  Administration and Town Council at Town Hall Council Chamber;

▪  Public Information/Neighborhood Improvement and Raleigh Utilities at the Dempsey Benton Water Treatment Plant; 2315

▪  Inspections and Engineering

▪  Planning and Garner Revitalization Association

▪  Public Works and All Star Waste

▪  Finance and Chamber of Commerce

▪  Police

▪  Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources

▪  Garner Fire and Rescue and Wake County EMS

▪  Graduation