City Launches ‘New Bern 101,’ An Interactive Program About Local Government

City of New BernThe City of New Bern is launching New Bern 101, an interactive, seven-week program designed to introduce people to local government. The first session of New Bern 101 will begin on September 30th.

Similar to a citizen’s academy, New Bern 101 will provide a comprehensive look at the structure and functions of government. Participants will meet staff and elected officials and gain insight into how government decisions, programs, and services affect quality of life. Each session will be hosted at a different city department and some sessions will include tours of city buildings, projects, plants, and other infrastructure.  Snacks, refreshments, and tour transportation will be provided.

Each session will begin at 4 p.m. and last approximately two to two-and-a-half hours. Sessions will be held weekly on Thursdays and the final session will be held on a Tuesday in which there is a Board of Aldermen meeting.  Program participants will meet the governing board, attend the meeting, and then receive a Certificate of Completion.  Attendance at all sessions is mandatory to receive a certificate.

“Programs like this help establish better relationships with the public. They build a sense of community and give people an inside look at what, how and why government does what it does,” said Mayor Dana Outlaw. “It’s been a goal of the Board of Aldermen to bring New Bern 101 to life and we’re excited about the fall session.”

Dates and topic discussions for the fall session are:

Thursday, September 30: Administration, Finance & Human Resources

Thursday, October 7: Department of Public Utilities

Thursday, October 14: Development Services

Thursday, October 21: New Bern Police & New Bern Fire-Rescue

Thursday, October 28: Public Works

Thursday, November 4: Parks & Recreation

Tuesday, November 9: Governing Board

New Bern 101 is free and open to the public.  You do not have to be a city resident to participate. Anyone 15 years-old and up can apply. Minors must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program. Applications and additional information are available at If you’re interested, complete the application, and return it to City Hall, 300 Pollock Street, in downtown New Bern by September 27th.

If you do not think you can make all sessions, please consider signing up for an upcoming New Bern 101. The city will offer sessions twice each year in the spring and fall.

By Colleen Roberts, Public Information Officer