Inaugural Washington County 101 class debuts to positive reviews

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy served as the emcee for the first Washington County 101 class. The program is designed to give county residents an opportunity to get an in-depth view of the inner workings of county government.

The inaugural class of the Washington County 101 program launched on July 11 at the Historic Courthouse in Jonesborough. Twenty participants – selected on a first-come, first serve basis by district – were welcomed by Mayor Joe Grandy, who acted as emcee for the event.

“You are a select group,” Grandy said. “There was tremendous interest in this pilot program. Applications were only open two weeks and by the time we cut off applications June 9 we had 40 applicants for 20 slots.”

The mayor provided an overview of county government including its major budget expenditures. “The number one priority for the county is education followed by law enforcement and roads,” he said.

In addition to the mayor, speakers heard from Planning Director Angie Charles, Register of Deeds Teresa Bowman, Assessor Robbie McGuire, Trustee Rick Storey and Clerk & Master Sarah Lawson.

Clerk & Master Sarah Lawson speaks to the inaugural Washington County 101 class as Mayor Joe Grandy and Trustee Rick Storey look on.

Participants took part in some fun, interactive games to test their knowledge before and after the program. The evening concluded with an optional stroll through Jonesborough led by Joe Spiker of Heritage Alliance.

“I have really enjoyed this evening,” said participant Mitzi Frutiger, who moved to Washington County in 2017 from Arizona. “It was everything I hoped for in terms of gaining knowledge about how our government operates and meeting other people who also love living here. I look forward to the next three classes.”

“I am very appreciative of all those who took the time last evening to share with us, and educate us about what goes on within that $100-million-plus complex of Washington County,” said class member Frank Hahne. “I learned many facts and history of my adopted town that I had not known before.”

All Washington County 101 class members are residents of the county, 18 years of age or older and had to pass a security check by the sheriff’s department. Pilot program participants will take part in three more classes where they will learn about the justice center, elections, health and the sheriff’s office. They will graduate at the Aug. 28 Washington County Commission meeting.


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