VANDALIA – BUTLER — Nearly 35 Butler High School students have a little more understanding of how local government operates after participating in this year’s Youth in Government day.
The Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club sponsors the annual event, which is financially supported by Abbey Credit Union, DayAir Credit Union, Mid USA Credit Union and Universal 1 Credit Union.
Juniors and seniors spent time with government leaders from the City of Vandalia, Butler Township and the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education.
Emily Gabert served as the Vandalia Mayor and read a proclamation declaring Tuesday Youth in Government Day.
“Teaching students to be involved and knowledgeable about local government is something we should always strive to be doing,” the proclamation read. It went on to urge citizens to show “gratefulness and appreciation to the students, educators, and officials who took part” in the day.
Students were able to shadow and/or act council members, police chiefs, township trustees, and school board members as well as staff counterparts.
In Vandalia, the students held a study session and then a mock meeting where they considered resolutions regarding a traffic circle at National Road and Ranchview Drive, a grant for a bicycle playground at Helke Park, and an ordinance that would allow the raising of chickens in residential areas.
The Board of Education held its February business meeting, allowing students to witness the process of how policies are discussed and accepted. They then held a mock work session and discussed topics important to school districts, including levies.
In Butler Township, students attended the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday evening and then spent Tuesday morning with their counterparts. The also held a mock meeting where they considered resolutions to pass a budget, purchase a police car, firefighting equipment, road improvements, and the construction of a recreation center and swimming pool.
The day ended with all of the participants having lunch and students receiving certificates for their participation in this educational experience.
Participants and their government counterparts were:
CITY OF VANDALIA
Mayor Arlene Setzer: Emily Gabert
Vice Mayor Richard Herbst: Courtney Gonet
City Council Member Bob Ahlers: Lane Karrick
City Council Member Mike Blakesly: Josie Stiver
City Council Member Candice Farst: Lily Holliman
City Manager Jon Crusey: CiCi Christner
Assistant City Manager Amber Holloway: Bree Miller
Assistant to the City Manager Shannetta Dewberry: Bri Lytle
Communication Manager Rich Hopkins: Keiera Powell
Deputy Clerk of Council Missy Pruszynski: Kylie Foster
Finance Director Bridgette Leiter: Adam Gunckel
Fire Chief Chad Follick: Miranda Tatom
Information Technology Manager Darren Davey: Carly Cline
Law Director Jerry McDonald: Gabby Christner
Parks and Recreation Director Steve Clark: Monalisa Moazampour
Police Chief Kurt Althouse: Phil Weh
Public Service Director Rob Cron: Lane Moreland
Trustee President Ken Betz: Kearsten Miller
Trustee Vice President Mike Lang: Khia Miller
Fiscal Officer Mark Adams: Alex Joynes
Township Administrator Erika Vogel: Tamaria Hobson
Fire Chief Dan Alig: Cooper Justice
Police Chief John Porter: Megan Bosworth
Service Department Director Jeff Barnett: Alex Mobley
VANDALIA-BUTLER BOARD OF EDUCATION
Board of Education President Holly Herbst: Ashton Pederzani
Board of Education VP Rodney Washburn: Rodney Washburn
Board of Education Member Mary Kilsheimer: Seyi Agboola
Board of Education Member Kent Zimmerman: Sydney Theobald
Superintendent of Schools Rob O’Leary: Sydney Wiggins
Treasurer/CFO Eric Beavers: Ethan Sanderson
Dir. of HR and Staff Services Russ Garman: Elizabeth Koerner
Director of Pupil Services Lisa Hildebrand: Macey Deck
Communications/PR Coordinator Anaka Johnson: Lily Rojano
Chief Information Officer David Mohler: Sylvia Stalter
Operations Supervisor Marcus O’Brien: Athena Knaup
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.