Texas Citizen Planner Foundations Course to begin Feb. 22

Writer: Kathleen Phillips, 979-845-2872, ka-phillips@tamu.edu

Contact: Steven Mikulencak, 281-984-7085smikulencak@tamu.edu

Celina Gauthier Lowry, 281-560-3980, Celina.lowry@tamu.edu

HOUSTON — The Texas Citizen Planner program has planned a six-class Foundations Course to help local elected and appointed officials learn ways to address issues facing their communities, organizers said.  

Registration for the classes, which will be 6-8:30 p.m. weekly beginning Feb. 22, may be completed at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/Citizen. The fee is $199 through Feb. 16 and $249 thereafter. Classes will be held at Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane #120, Houston.

“Every year, hundreds of officials enter public service across Texas, and many will deal with projects and ordinances that directly influence planning and land use,” said Steven Mikulencak, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist with the Texas Coastal Watershed Program.

Mikulencak noted that while decisions have lasting impacts on the health and quality of life in a community and most public officials are motivated by an ethic of service, many have limited, if any, training in the art and science of community planning.

“As a result, planning and other citizen boards often do not have a clear picture of how ordinances and plans can work together to achieve resiliency and smart growth in their communities and local economies,” he said. “Nor do they have the amount of knowledge or resources to properly evaluate if development proposals fit with local plans, promote public safety, or conflict with natural coastal processes.”

The course will meet on Feb. 22, March 1, March 8, March 22, March 29 and April 5. The curriculum explores connections between growth, development and risks. The course is a non-credit series leading to a “Citizen Planner” certificate of completion awarded by the Texas Coastal Watershed Program, a partnership between AgriLife Extension and Texas Sea Grant. The project is partially funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.

For more information, see http://citizenplanner.tamu.edu or contact program assistant Celina Gauthier Lowry at 281-560-3980, celina.lowry@tamu.edu or Mikulencak at 281-218-6128, smikulencak@tamu.edu.

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