My wife and I have been taking a class together… nothing formal, but our city of Scottsdale offers a City Government 101 class, which meets every other week where you get to learn about a different department.

It’s been everything from finance to water resources to trash to libraries to police/fire… one of the highlights was a visit to the traffic control center where a huge screen allows staff to monitor and adjust the traffic lights across the entire city… and live demos from the police K9 unit… and also, our library which offers a lot of services, many of them now online such as their databases, including something soon that will allow e-check out of audio and video files for use on portable devices.

A city can be a much more complex entity that one gives it credit for, taking a lot of what is offered for granted… Scottsdale puts a lot of money and effort into their Community Services, which is second only in employee size to the police department.

Now I am sounding like a commercial, but I can say I’ve learned much more and can appreciate things better in a city just by knowing more about it.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.