Allie Coffey and William Stuart aren’t old enough to hold public office yet, but on Thursday, they got a taste of the busy schedule that public officials keep.
Allie, 10, and William, 9, are local semifinalists of the Maryland Municipal League and Maryland Mayors Association’s “If I Were Mayor, I Would...” contest. They got a behind-the-scenes look at the city of Rockville as they spent the day with Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and other town officials and staff.
Allie attends Ritchie Park Elementary School and William goes to the St. Raphael School. Both are in fourth grade.
Their itinerary included a tour of the city’s police department and a ride in a police car; a trip to the Department of Public Works’ Large Equipment Show, where they got personalized street signs; a tour of the Croydon Creek Nature Center; and lunch with Newton at Clyde’s at the Tower Oaks Lodge.
The students also will take part in Rockville’s Memorial Day parade on Monday and will read their essays and help Newton preside over the City Council’s June 2 meeting.
William’s essay centered around forming a festival for kids to meet other people their age, sign up for camps and classes, and share ideas for improving the city with the mayor.
Allie wrote about creating clubs to encourage the recycling of juice boxes, chip bags and other items besides paper, plastic and bottles.
The essays are a great way to get kids thinking about what it takes to run a city, Newton said.
William also got to discuss his idea with former mayor and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan. Allie spoke with former Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio.
Duncan is running for county executive in the June 24 Democratic primary.
Allie said her favorite part of being mayor for a day was visiting the nature center, where she got to touch a corn snake and see various frogs and turtles.
William said he enjoyed his ride in the police car, as well as seeing the department’s holding cells and fingerprinting equipment.