Monday, February 18, 2013

Understanding Local Government

Harry Hayes, a Georgia local government expert, told a journalism class at the University of Georgia that local government is important to its citizens.

“It’s something that most people look at as kind of being pretty boring until they realize how closely it effects you on a day to day basis” Hayes said.
Harry Hayes presenting to a UGA Journalism Class

Hayes has many years of experience working in local government management and in outreach work for local governments with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA. He said he often has to explain to citizens and government bodies how different local governments are organized.

He said there were lots of variations in local government that make it both frustrating in interesting for him.

When he tried to characterize local government set-ups mentioned many exceptions to the rules.
He outlined several options for county and city government organization, but then said that Athens-Clarke County was 1 of about 38 counties in the nation, which had a consolidated structure where one government acted for both the city and the county.

Hayes said exceptions like this were important for citizens to understand so they know how their local government functions.

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