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Teen leaders ‘take over’ city

A number of Bainbridge High School students got a chance to get some hands-on learning about city government this week as they took part in Student Government Days.

Students who received an A in their sophomore Civics Class had the opportunity to tour a number of government facilities on Tuesday. They learned about the daily operations of the Bainbridge Public Safety, Bainbridge Public Works, wastewater treatment plant, the Humane Society’s Animal Shelter, tennis complex and firing range.

On Wednesday, students spent the day shadowing city officials as they got a more hands-on look at the inner workings of local government.

Emily Newsome took on the role of police chief for a day, as she shadowed Bainbridge Public Safety Director Larry Funderburke. She met with Investigators James Dollar, Mark Esquivel and Chris Jordan and discussed the different ways to combat and locate gangs and gang violence in the city.

Students Chace Vaughn and Carly Brock spent the day with Al Kelley, director of Leisure Services, and other members of the his team.

Program Supervisor Diane Atkinson provided insight into the different projects the department may undertake in a year. The students were given a tour of the various areas Leisure Service’s maintain by Parks Superintendent Danny Ritter.

Discussing the many different places they visited over the two days, Brock and Vaughn said the wastewater treatment plant was one of the most interesting.

“I didn’t realize that much work goes into the waste water treatment plant,” said Vaughn.

Shelby Miller spent the day shadowing City Councilman Luther Conyers. She and other students held a mock Planning Commission meeting where they debated past proposals such as bids for rezonings.

Following lunch, the students held a mock City Council meeting. Some of the issues discussed included an ordinance allowing golf carts on public streets, a youth curfew and ordinance against loitering, setting a limit on the number of pit bulls per household and zoning requests. Students also gave reports about the six operating divisions of the City of Bainbridge.