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Going behind the scenes of county government

Sept. 5 deadline to apply for Civics 101 course

Two field trips -- to the county jail in Redwood City and to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve on the coast north of Half Moon Bay -- are included in Civics 101, a free course open to the public on the workings of San Mateo County government.

Classes meet on 10 Tuesday evenings, starting Sept. 13. Applications must be in by Monday, Sept. 5 (see link below).

Taught by people who work in county government, this course will give "behind the scenes" tours of county operations and discuss topics such as emergency services, the courts, public health, and the collection and dispersal of tax dollars. Also on the syllabus: "Budgeting for results."

The program is meant to increase understanding of and participation in local government, including leading people to want to serve on boards and commissions, the county says.

Graduates of previous courses have served on civil grand juries and county advisory boards and commissions.

The three-hour classes start at 6 p.m. in the Hall of Justice at 400 County Center in Redwood City. The classes are open to residents of San Mateo County and people who work in the county.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to learn how your county is managed and to see how tax dollars are spent in our community," Carole Groom, president of the Board of Supervisors, said in the statement.

Click here for information and to apply.

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