Junior mayor and council offer their advice to city hall

Mike Carson
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SUMMERSIDE  - Summerside Intermediate School’s junior mayor and council had some good advice, recently, for sitting councillors.

Junior Mayor Lauryn Reeves delivers the SIS junior mayor and council report to Summerside city council. The students toured municipal departments and provided a report to the city on their concerns and priorities for Summerside. 

 

Each year, SIS holds its election for a junior mayor and council, and these young students spend a day touring municipal departments and prepare a report to city council on what their concerns and priorities are.

It turns out that many of these are the same as those identified by city council.

“One of our recurring topics was the Summerside fire hall,” said Junior Mayor Lauryn Reeves. “Our visit to this landmark site was neat and interesting.  We saw a lot of state of the art equipment and had a chance to sit in one of the trucks. We all noticed, however, that the facility needs updating.  It is an older building and is quiet cramped with all of the equipment and trucks which make it difficult for the 40 volunteer firefighters to work there. We suggest that a new building be constructed, in a central location, which could house both the existing Summerside and St. Eleanor’s stations in one. This would increase the space for additional volunteers and cut costs by maintaining only one building.”

Reeves said another topic was teen activities available in Summerside.

“We believe that teens need opportunities, with little to no cost, which will allow them to keep active,” she said. “One of our solutions includes time slots for “teens only” for the CUP facilities.”

Reeves said many teens would like to try the gym but are restricted because of the age limit or the intimidation factor of older patrons.

“A teen time would help elevate both of these factors,” she said. “Another way to encourage teen participation would be to create rec leagues for teens. Many youth would like to be involved in sport activities but are not competitive. They just want to have fun and be active. Different sport rec leagues could run throughout the year, teens could sign up and play one night a week for fun.”

Junior mayor and council feel that the CUP hours could be extended on evenings and weekends for teen activities.

“This would help keep kids off the streets and from getting into trouble,” Reeves said.  “There could be organized clubs at the CUP or even teen dances.  I have heard many teenagers complain about being bored and having nothing to do on evenings and weekends.  If the swimming pool, bowling lanes and rinks were open a little later teenagers would have a place to go and something to do.” 

The last topic for the junior mayor and council was an indoor turf facility.

“We believe this would help keep teens active all year round,” Reeves said. “There are many vacant buildings in Slemon Park that could be used for such a facility. Having an indoor turf would expand the seasons for many sports. It would be great for those who like to play baseball, football, golf, lacrosse or soccer all year round. Driving to the indoor facility in Strafford can be costly and time consuming.”

The young councillors suggested that junior mayor and council be extended to more than just one day.

“The junior mayor and council is a wonderful opportunity for the youth of Summerside,” Reeves said. “It allows them not only to have a glimpse behind the scenes of our great city but also to have their voices heard. We believe that this partnership with the city should be extended beyond just one day.  We think that a program that involves the junior mayor and council on an ongoing basis throughout the year would benefit the teens in Summerside.  Not only would it create a sense of pride in the youth of our community, but it would keep us involved with our city and encourage us to make a difference.  This relationship between junior and senior council would also help keep the city in the “now” with what teenagers are looking for from their city.”

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

Geographic location: Summerside, Slemon Park, Strafford

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