The next generation is curious and interested in municipal government, as shown at the recent meeting of council where Grade 6 students sat in the gallery.
As part of the Grade 6 curriculum the students are learning about municipal government, as had the opportunity to sit in at a council meeting and experience municipal government first hand.
Monday’s meeting was located at C.P. Blakely School during class hours to accommodate the number of students who came to the meeting, and wasn’t an easy one to sit through as some complicated items were discussed.
However, Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said the students were well behaved and genuinely interested in what was happening.
“You could see the students were interested and curious about what was happening, some were even taking notes,” McIntyre said.
“The next generation is in good hands.”
The meeting was a regular meeting of council and as such items on the agenda were not tailored specifically for the audience.
The agenda included a public hearing, the first reading of bylaws and discussion on the outline plan for the Iron Gate subdivision.
McIntyre said the students were got to see the “business of council” at this meeting.
“They got a little bit of everything… This isn’t an easy thing to sit through for someone their age and they were all wonderful.”
Throughout the meeting McIntyre and the presenters took the time to explain terminology and give background to the students about what is occurring around different projects in town.
McIntyre says he students learning about municipal government at a young age is very positive and gives him hope for the future.
“It is always a good thing to know about your community and to be involved in your community, starting young will hopefully help,” he said.
At the meeting, Council gave the chance for residents to speak to Council during open microphone, as they do every meeting. During this time Lily Kloss from Steffie Woima spoke about her concerns for the safety of school patrollers.
Following the meeting Mayor and Councillors were made available to the students so they may ask questions.
There was a wide range of questions and interests from the students, which McIntyre says is a great thing to see.
“We had kids who were interested in the sanitation of the lake, those who wanted to know what kind of buildings can be built, those who wanted a dirt bike track… These kids are already showing an interest in their community and I hope it will continue to grow.”
This is the first time Council has had a gallery full of Grade 6 students, and McIntyre hopes it will not be the last time.
Until the next time the students attend a meeting of council, McIntyre would like to see more students tour the Municipal Government Building were they can learn about the departments and what is done there.
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