Simone Whitehurst cautiously climbed in the Harlem mayor's chair in city hall April 19 as part of a mock city council meeting held by Harlem High School civics classes.
Harlem High School freshman Mandy Rogers, 15, listens intently as one of her fellow classmates presents an idea to the mock city council at the Harlem City Hall as part of Harlem's City Government Week. The mock city council is made up of elected Harlem High civic students.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
Mayor Scott Dean might have some competition because senior Whitehurst, 18, hopes to officially occupy his position some day.
The elected five-member council proposed new signs, including price estimates for the recently completed walking track and the Harlem City Park, which included a name change to the Harlem Bulldog Park.
"I like the name," Dean told the council. "And an item we (the real city council) would like to take up is the park sign."
A mock council held in 2003 proposed and researched the track project, which the real city council approved and implemented. City council members are also working on clearing another part of the park for a soccer/touch football field, which last year's mock council proposed.
Other civics students proposed city projects including renovations to the park's restroom facilities, a swimming center and a skate park.
Councilman Tom Blalock said he was very impressed with their research and would be inclined to hear their proposals.
Though each of the mock council members, who ranged from a freshman through seniors, said they were very nervous before the meeting began, mock councilwoman and Harlem High sophomore Summer Crewson, 16, said it was a great experience.
"It was fun," she said.
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