Local news- Press Release
City of Germantown Tennessee - Riverdale Students Preside Over Council Chambers for a Day 20 May 2022 ( news )
City of Germantown , state Tennessee ( By Press Release office)
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On Thursday , a very different type of Board of Mayor and Alderman ( BMA ) meeting took place in Council Chambers at City Hall . The presiding mayor and aldermen
were just as distinguished , but markedly … well , younger .
Accompanied by their teacher Perry Pennington , Germantown Municipal School District ( GMSD ) Tech Coach Terry Schmitt and parent chaperone Elizabeth Richardson , about 50 Riverdale seventh - graders visited City Hall and got some first - hand experience in running the City for a day .
The field - tripping students participated in several activities , including conducting mock BMA meetings and learning more about the Germantown Police and Fire departments .
“This has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to get to know how the City works , ” Pennington said , adding that the scripted BMA sessions particularly helped the students understand the inner workings of the City government .
Student Smith Veazey agreed . “I learned that the aldermen play a pretty big role , ” he said .
In two separate sessions in Council Chambers , as some students played the parts of BMA members , city clerk , city administrator and city attorney , others acted as residents participating in the meeting’s “Citizens to be Heard” portion of the meeting , voicing fictional concerns of noise disturbances , animal nuisances and strange neighbors .
“Citizens have much more say in the government than I expected , ” said student Nat Middlekauff , who played a citizen that addressed the Board .
Meanwhile , the students who portrayed the BMA members also got an eye - opening look at the significance of City leadership .
“This is the most important role I’ve ever played!” said Sarah Pennington , a student actress who stood in as City Clerk Michele Betty .
Later , City Administrator Jason Huisman met with the students and answered their questions , which ranged from queries about area mixed - use developments to rising gas prices .
At the Germantown Police Department , the student visitors watched a demo of the department’s new drones , met the Germantown K - 9 officers and their handlers and got an up - close look at the SWAT team’s Bearcat and other equipment . At the Germantown Fire Department , they toured the fire station , an ambulance and a firetruck .
After three hours , the students left with a fresh perspective on local government , possibly with some future aldermen or even an aspiring mayor among them . Huisman said it was a pleasure hosting them .
“It’s so important when students and educators take an interest in our local government , ” he said . “These students could very well be the future leaders of Germantown . If so , our future is bright . ”
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