Most city residents are aware that cities employ police officers, firefighters, and public works staff who maintain streets and sewers. But cities also employ workers that you might see in private businesses, like accountants, receptionists, information technology managers, communications specialists, and human resources personnel, among others.
In the coming years, a wave of retirements among the Baby Boomer generation will leave many city government positions to be filled. How can residents be persuaded to pursue city careers? More than 400 Minnesota fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders considered that challenge and shared their ideas in the League of Minnesota Cities’ (LMC) fifth annual Mayor for a Day Essay Contest.
This year’s essay question tied in with the theme of the League’s Cities Matter booth at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. Fairgoers were invited to take a quiz to discover their “superpower” and find out the city careers most likely to be a good match for them.
For the essay contest, students were asked to consider the following statement and question:
People who work for city governments plow snow, balance budgets, run libraries, design safe streets and buildings, take care of parks and playgrounds, fight fires, enforce laws, keep drinking water clean, and more. If you were mayor for a day, what would you do to show people that local governments are good places to work?
From the essays submitted, three winners—from the cities of Lauderdale, Maple Grove, and St. Paul—and three honorable mentions were chosen. Winning entries were selected based on creativity, originality, and legibility. Winning essay writers will receive a commemorative plaque and a check for $100.
Thank you to all students who participated in this year’s competition and to the families, friends, and teachers who encouraged our future mayors.
Click on each essay to read a larger version in pdf format.
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