On the formidable side of the news, the city of Garland scheduled a series of lectures for the residents, gave it a slick title, and offered courses... to further enhance stakeholders - that’s you and me - insight into the municipal operations of the city. It’s a nice gesture, but for the majority of us, it’s a smoke screen. These courses are specifically designed to pad the resume of city council candidates with the remaining course seats offered as a by-product for Garland citizens. They titillate our senses and momentarily offer the community-at-large one fleeting thought that maybe, somewhere over the rainbow Dorothy, we can make a difference. Not so fast.
The Garland Neighborhood Management Program, (GNMA) introduces the public to various components of Garland’s city functions in 1 1/2 - 2 hour blocks. Can we learn that much about a system in this brief period of time? The question is rhetorical. GNMA courses are as follows:
Public Safety: Feb 12; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. This two -hour lecture, offered by member of the police, fire and emergency management departments, informs citizens why we have to hear sirens ring throughout the night.
Public Works: Feb 26: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m - a two-hour lecture offering infrastructure assessment, better known as why the city is out of money to repair the roads.
The Residential Idea Book: March 2: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. A property improvement lecture offering insight how close we are to code compliance violations.
Landscaping Basics: March 26: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Garland’s neglectful offering for a sustainable green community. Nothing more that lawn mowing and leaf blowing 101.
Financing a remodel Project: Apr 23: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. A do-it-yourself guide for capital improvement, otherwise known as - be sure to wait in line to get your permits.
Community Engagement: May 14: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The course designed for neighborhood participation encompassing planning, volunteerism and multi-family effort.
Registration cutoff is one week prior to the seminar and seats fill fast. The Garland point of contacts is Tracy Allmendinger at (972) 205- 2108. Although the city offers a nice certificate suitable for framing, it does pose as a noble gesture for citizens to take on a responsibility as an advocate for our side.