The Peoria County Board adopted five goals to focus our energy and resources on as part of our Strategic Plan. One of these goals is to partner with our citizens and other units of government. We recognize the key to a successful partnership with our citizens rests in their understanding of county government. To strengthen the foundation of our budding partnership and to encourage community involvement in local government, we offer several opportunities for you to learn more about Peoria County.

This fall, we’re presenting two free community education courses through Illinois Central College: Elections and Growth & Infrastructure. On October 5, the County Clerk and our Election Administrator will present the elections process and new voting laws; class participants will also be able to vote on the new system. On November 30, you can learn zoning and rightof-way regulations from the Director of Planning & Zoning and the County Engineer, respectively. Septic tank maintenance will also be covered by an Environmental Health Educator. To register for either evening session, call ICC at 999-4545 or visit www.icc.edu/funshops.

Also this fall, Peoria County is accepting applications for its Winter 2007 Civic Leadership Program, to begin in January. The program offers 25 participants an intense, hands-on learning experience of county government during eight evening sessions. The two-hour, bimonthly sessions typically include a tour of a county facility and an informative, interactive presentation by our elected and appointed officials. In addition to attending the educational sessions, participants will team up to serve as community leaders representing Peoria County. Each team will assist a social service agency with a program, project, or fundraising event during the four-month term of the leadership course.

The intent of our Civic Leadership Program is two-fold: to strengthen partnerships with our citizens and to better prepare those citizens for community involvement. Applications can be downloaded from our website, www.peoriacounty.org. Application deadline is November 15.

Throughout the year, Peoria County officials participate in our Speakers Bureau. If you belong to a school, business, service agency, club, or another organization that schedules speakers periodically, please consider our Speakers Bureau. Currently, our most popular requests include the pandemic flu and our emergency preparedness efforts; the building code; and our Strategic Plan. We do, however, have knowledgeable speakers for any topic related to county government. Presenters are available during the work week, as well as evenings and weekends. There’s no cost for a Speakers Bureau presentation.

I encourage you to consider participating in one of the aforementioned opportunities Peoria County Government offers. Your involvement in one of our educational courses ensures awareness and a stronger partnership that will enhance the community and the local governments that serve you.

To get more information on the Civic Leadership Program, schedule a Speakers Bureau presentation, or if your agency is in need of volunteer assistance for a project or event during the winter months, call Jenny Zinkel at 672-6918. IBI