A new classroom initiative by the City of Chewelah and Jenkins Sr. High School will enable students to get first-hand experience in creating a city, running elections and creating city governance. This mock city council project, dubbed the “Students in Government” project, is a pilot project that pairs the work of Mr. Anegon’s Current World History class at Jenkins High School with the Chewelah Mayor’s Office. The project will allow students to create and name their own “city” as well as hold elections for seven city council positions.
“The ‘city’ the students are creating will have 88 citizens that are in the Current World History class and they are planning to hold elections to elect seven of those students as city council members. They will also be electing a mayor who will appoint a city administrator, a treasurer and a city attorney. The mayor will also appoint three committees that will address three city-related issues,” said Chewelah City Mayor Dorothy Knauss.
The issues the “mock city council” will address are being developed by Mayor Knauss and Mike Waters, an attorney from McGrane and Schuerman.
“We haven’t settled on the issues yet, but they will include a financial issue, a public safety issue and an issue with the city municipal code. We stressed we don’t care about the decision they make, rather we are interested in them learning the process,” said Mayor Knauss. “This is a pilot project this year, but our hope is that we want to peak their interest of these students so they may consider serving in local government when they get a little older.”
The Students in Government will present their mock city council decisions, their elected city council members and administrators prior to the regular Chewelah City Council meeting on May 6 at the Chewelah City Hall. The student presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
By Jamie Henneman, The Independent Staff