MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Applications are now available for the Myrtle Beach citizen's academy, MyBeach 101. Unlike the citizen's police academy, the focus is on general government services. While the police and fire department will be discussed, citizens will also learn about the boards and commissions, city council, utilities, and all the other things it takes to make a city work.
MyBeach 101 is an interactive eight-week citizens' academy that will offer residents and business owners the opportunity to learn how Myrtle Beach local government works and how they can be more involved with the city. Participants will learn about a variety of topics, from city management to city services, public safety and more. Lively presentations will show how projects are started and the manner in which services are provided in the city. This is the first year for the citizen's academy. City leaders say they have discussed it for a number of years in concert with the citizen's police academy.
"In school you learn a lot about your state government, your federal government," said City Spokesperson Mark Kruea. "You may even make a trip to state capitol or a trip to Washington, but you don't learn a great deal about the local government and that's the one that provides the most service to you. We provide the drinking water that helps you brush your teeth in the morning and your solid waste collection, your police and fire service and your recreations. We thought it would be a good idea for people to learn more about the government that most directly affects them."
City leaders said they hope to get a better chance at telling the city's story, so that people understand a little bit about the behind the scenes working. But overall they want to give citizens an inside look at where your tax dollars go and all the things they do for you.
"You think about police and fire as being 24-hour a day operations, but in the summer time someone's out on the beach cleaning it at 3:30 in the morning, or Ocean Blvd at 4 in the morning," said Kruea. "And the solid waste crew starts at 6 every day to pick up your residential recycling and garbage."
MyBeach 101 is something the City of Myrtle Beach plans to do on a regular basis, a yearly occurrence. City leaders said they hope people who go through the academy grasps a better understanding at what local government means. That way they will have a better appreciation at what it means to be a citizen of Myrtle Beach and how hard the 850 full-time people work to provide service for the residents and citizens here.
"We're fortunate in that we have a group of very involved residents here. People who love Myrtle Beach and are actively involved. I think this will give people a chance to see a little bit into the inner workings and get a better perspective on all that Myrtle Beach does."
MyBeach 101 will meet Thursday evenings from January 28 through March 17 at various locations. Class members must complete at least six of the eight sessions to graduate. The MyBeach 101 application is here, with the first class limited to 18 participants