Teenagers Taste Local Politics at Mock City Council Meetings

Article excerpt

Byline: Fabbre, Tabor & Ferak

After months of attending St. Charles city council meetings some high school seniors got a chance to see what life is as a city alderman or mayor.

Seniors in Gerry Powers' and Tom Haymond's honors government classes Friday took over city hall for day. The St. Charles High School seniors debated everything from the future of the Piano Factory Outlet Mall to how to get students across Kirk Road.

"We see exactly how the city council runs," said senior Brad Zoelle, who presented proposals for two Kirk Road pedestrian crossings. "It's really kind of neat because we learn about how things are run and how the issues are handled in the city."

The mock city council meeting ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. - complete with a swearing-in ceremony. And while the students debated a variety of issues, Powers said the most important lesson came in the hands-on experience.

"It's more than what you see in some textbook," he said. "And (they learn) that local issues matter."

Senior T.J. Nensel served as mayor while Jenny Lutkevich filled in as mayor pro-tempore and Jenny Bolander served as the recording secretary.

In the morning, seniors Nick Churchill, Becky Myers, Kristin English, Tim Kinney, Sarah Brittin, Sarah Franco, Sarah Raehl, Mike Sund, Will Barthel and Ian Stevenson served as aldermen. …