Chapmanville eighth graders hold mock council meeting

Debbie Rolen drolen@civitasmedia.com

October 25, 2013

The Town of Chapmanville hosted Mrs. Pritchard’s Chapmanville Middle School 8th grade class for a community service project Thursday at 1 p.m. The students performed a mock council meeting in the council chambers at the Chapmanville Municipal Building.

The students participating in the event and their positions were: Cheyenne Armstrong (Council Member), Hannah Duty (Council Member), Jacy Baxter (Council Member), Carrie Sullins (Recorder), Jordan Hicks (Mayor), Savannah Toney (Attorney), Jada Freeman (Council Member) and Beth Ball (Council Member). The students prepared for the meeting with Chapmanville’s Project Coordinator Brian Kirkendoll.

“They have done a great job,” said Kirkendoll, “It has been a good experience working with all of them.”

The mock council confidently called the meeting to order and worked their way through the agenda.

Chapmanville Mayor Jerry Price was on hand to present the council with an issue with storm drains, which Mayor Hicks explained would have to handed off to the W.Va. Department of Highways, since they were the ones who handled the maintenance on the drains.

Chapmanville Council Member Jeremy Farley made a request for $500 for a Christmas Clothing Drive, which the mock council approved for $300 because of budget constraints.

Mayor Price explained how the council works, “The council has to work with other agencies to get things done sometimes. The council members have to work together even when they don’t always agree. They have to work with the people in the community who don’t understand when it may be another agency who is responsible for a problem or need they might have. It’s hard work.”

Council Member Jeremy Farley said this is going to be an ongoing effort as part of the 4-H. In addition to his role as Chapmanville Town Council Member, Farley serves as Jeremy Farley is the WVU Extension Agent for Logan County. He serves as the County Program Coordinator and the 4-H Youth Development Agent. He is adding to that role Chair for the WV 4-H Civic Engagement Forum.

“Mrs. Pritchard and I have been trying to put together a 4-H club for those of you who are interested in Citizenship and Civic Engagement. I just want to say you all did a fabulous job. It can be intimidating. Especially when they are legimate issues. You are sitting in those seats to make decisions for the town. There is a lot of pressure to make the right decisions for the town. Hopefully, I will get to work with you all over the next year through the middle school. We have a state-wide ambassador program through WVU. We go to Camp Virgil Tate for a few days. We also go to the Capitol to see how government works,” said Farley.

Farley went on to encourage the students to attend council meetings and get involved, to continue to learn how government works and let the town council know what is important to them.

Price also told the students about the Sunshine Law and other rules the council has to abide by. Farley also went over election guidelines and various qualifications required for certain elected positions.

The students received a police escort back to the middle school.