Students get taste of city government

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Staff Writer

Six young, but enthusiastically vibrant "leaders of tomorrow" were given a chance to experience what it’s like to be members of the Troy City Council on Tuesday as part of the new "Mayor for a Day" program.

Honorary Mayor Chase Rodgers

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was handed the

assignment of introducing the primary

item on the council agenda and that announcement was that Governor Don Siegelman approved a $50,000 grant to be used in renovations to Murphree Park. Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said that the money from the grant will be used primarily to widen the trails at the park and to improve the lighting. The work will cost $60,000, with the city providing the $10,000 difference.

Rodgers, of Pike Liberal Arts School was also joined by Council President Julia Maestri, President Pro-tem Cole Mitchell, council members Hannah Lee, Denise Cain, and Dominique Wilson, all seventh-graders

at Charles Henderson Middle School. They were chosen based on essays they wrote for a selection contest.

There were 73 essays written, but only six spots were available on the council. Mayor Lunsford said that all the essays that were entered were

well-written. "I don’t think that I’ve ever been involved with a project that was as educational for me as this particular project was," Lunsford said. "In reading the 73 essays in competition for the ‘Mayor for a Day’ program, it became apparent to me that the judges were going to have a difficult, if not impossible, time narrowing down that group to one person.

"I really commend our educators. They are teaching what needs to be taught. The vast majority of the essays not only had ideas or identified problems, but they talked about potential solutions."

The students were asked to give a statement on what was most enjoyable or memorable to them during the day. Rodgers said that the thing that he enjoyed most was visiting the Wastewater Treatment Plant. "We got to see how the water came

in to the plant, how it was processed,



purified it, and then we got to see where

all the waste particles are dumped," Rodgers said.

Mitchell held up a plaque

that each of the students



thanked Lunsford for giving the students a chance to learn about their city government. Wilkins said that the Sikorsky Airport control tower was his favorite place to visit, while Cain said that she was partial to visiting Chief Anthony Etheridge

at the police department. "I thought that the fire department


the most exciting place that we visited," Maestri said.

"All I can say is that the new council brought us in $50,000; what’s happened to the old council?" Lunsford said jokingly, referring to Rodgers’ announcement of the Murphree Park grant.

In addition to the grant

the council also covered:

· The property

annexation of Robert(Bo) Carlilse of Needmore Road.; all members of the council gave their approval

· A proclamation of Pike County Junior Miss. Lunsford introduced Pike County Junior Miss Rachel Jennings, who said that she would do her best to serve the city of Troy and to make the community of Pike County proud.

· City Court Magistrate Becky Fowee’s proposal to allow partial payment in lieu of jail sentences for ovedue

city fines or fees.

· Tax

abatement for National Freezer. No education taxes will be abated in this tax abatement.


dismissing the students were allowed to give a breif statement and Rodgers said, "The mayor has a very busy day, he never sits down except for lunch."