Chillicothe High School juniors took the seats of local government officials in a mock city council meeting Wednesday and heard a proposal for a manufacturing company looking to locate in the city.
Chillicothe High School juniors took the seats of local government officials in a mock city council meeting Wednesday and heard a proposal for a manufacturing company looking to locate in the city. The ficticious proposal included the creation of 100 new jobs paying between $14 and $20 per hour with full benefits. What’s not to like about that? Well, the company needs to have access to the highway and railroad and the only possible location involves acquiring land from private property owners. The company asked the city to purchase the land at fair market value. The property, however, involved a farm that had been in the family for generations, ground that is prime farmland, and adjoining property owners who just built their retirement dream home. Instead of seeing trees and wildlife, if the city granted permission for the development, the property owners would be viewing an unsightly building and parking lot and also see more traffic. The new development would provide good paying jobs and increase the sales tax revenues for the city. The company would use local contractors for construction of the building and would be pro-community by putting contributing to charitable foundations and funding scholarships. After weighing all sides of the issue, the student city council voted down the development proposal 5-0. Cade Koehly presided over the meeting as the mayor. Council members were Sydney Baxter, Addie Ficken, Laney Gaston, Cody Kennebeck, Michael Riddle and Matt Smith. The student government exercise was part of an organized Student Government Day which provided students with real-life scenarios that elected officials and government administrators could face. The morning opened with students being introduced to the mayor, administrator and the city’s department managers. While CHS students learned about city government during Student Government Day, students from Southwest Livingston County R-1 learned about county government. Southwest students met at the Livingston County Courthouse, toured the offices of the courthouse and learned from the elected officials about each office in county government. All students taking part in Student Government Day also toured the city’s police and fire departments and ate lunch at the Elks Lodge. The day was sponsored by the American Legion, Elks Lodge and the Kiwanis Club.