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By Lydia Long PhD. | August 1, 2013

Want to see what goes on behind the doors of the City? Do you want to become a City Board member, run for City Council or start a Neighborhood Association, or just become more informed about your City? The City University program is an excellent way to become educated about the various City departments and facilities. The City University is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to become more knowledgeable about ‘inner’ workings of City government. Attending should be a requirement for anyone serving on our boards or considering running for City Council. If you want to contribute in a meaningful manner to discussions about the workings and future of Abilene sign up for the next class . {{more}}Hosted by the City of Abilene’s Community Access Task Force, for the low cost of admission you get a tour of every major facility in the city and you learn how they work together to provide city services. If you have any question about how the city works this is the place to get it answered. You’ll learn more about trash, water, streets and traffic than you ever wanted to know. And, as a bonus you’ll get a tasty meal served during the afternoon , allowing time for networking. I attended the first class in 2005 in order to help develop The Old Town Abilene Neighborhood Association. I went to find the answers to resident’s questions. We covered a wide range of topics from how much it would cost to increase trash service, why recycling is such a problem in West Texas, why we have so many potholes to how Frontier Texas was developed. I came back with information for the Neighborhood Association that allowed us to set goals for the upcoming years and allowed us to focus on issues we could change and decide how to tackle issues that needed changing. Later, I was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission and have found the information I gained extremely useful when pondering City development issues. Two fellow commissioners were attending the session to help expand their knowledge about the City.My only “complaint” was the overwhelming amount of information we received. You went home stuffed with information. Once you attend City University you never look at alley trash, rainwater runoff, or the stop lights in the same way. That’s what a good education does, not only opens your eyes to both sides of a debate but also provides you with the knowledge to make changes. For more information about City University, contact Joanna Clark at 325-676-6246 or Jayme Johnston at 325-676-6649.Lydia M. Long, PhD., is an Adjunct Criminal Justice Professor for McMurry University.