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'If I were mayor'
Essay contest draws entries from Screven Mid. School
W If I Were Mayor
Pictured are Chase Thompson (second place) and Madison Mealor (third place) with Mayor Evans. Stephen Thompson, the overall winner, is not pictured. - photo by Special

 Winning essay

       Being mayor is a very important job. People need to respect and look up to a mayor. A mayor needs to be smart, fair, polite, and a good listener. If I were mayor I would try to be all these things. These qualities would help me make good decisions to run the town better.
      I think making a better community starts with making good citizens out of the students in the schools. That is why one thing I would do would be to occasionally visit the schools and make speeches about being good productive leaders in our society.
      I think having an attractive town might bring more visitors and maybe even more businesses. That is why every year I would make a town workday where everybody in town could participate, and I might even be able to get somebody to grill hamburgers and hotdogs for the workers. Not only would this get a lot of work done around the town, it would also be a time of great fellowship and fun.
Making speeches and cleanup days would not be the only things that I would do. I would also meet with the town council to make ordinances that would protect the citizens of our fair city. The laws would be fair and would apply to everybody letting no man take advantage of his fellow citizen.
If I were mayor I would try to do all of the things described above to the best of my abilities, but I would also try to make the town more like a family. With all of the brothers and sisters working together we can make our city, our country, and our world a better place in which to live and prosper.
- Stephen Thompson

      SYLVANIA - "A mayor needs to be smart, fair, polite, and a good listener," wrote Stephen Thompson of Sylvania in his winning essay for the "If I Were Mayor" essay contest. He continues, "If I were mayor I would try to be all these things."
      Cities across Georgia were encouraged to celebrate Georgia Cities Week this year in April designated by the Georgia Municipal Association. The 2011 theme was City Life.
      Georgia Cities Week gives cities an opportunity to share with their citizens information about the valuable services cities provide to residents.
      As part of this celebration, the City of Sylvania participates by sponsoring the 6th grade "If I Were Mayor" essay contest.
Essays are written and submitted by local sixth graders from Screven County Middle School.
      Students were given a tip sheet, outlining responsibilities mayors may or may not have.
      With that in mind, students were then given free reign to declare what actions they would take if mayor.
      First, second, and third place winners were recognized at the school's honors day, and later awarded a $100 savings bond, $50 savings bond, and $10 in gold coins, respectively.
      When he learned his essay won second place, Chase Thompson said he was "excited and surprised."
      Although he doesn't normally think of himself as one of the better writers in his class, Chase found out that hard work pays off.
      In his essay, Chase said if he were mayor, he would work to attract more industry to the area in order to employ more people.
      The three winners were also invited to attend the May 17 City Council Meeting, where they met Mayor Margaret Evans and were asked to read their winning essays for the council.
       If third-place winner Madison Mealor were mayor, she said one thing she would do is create a walking trail in Sylvania for all residents to use.
      "It was really cool and an honor," said Madison, when asked about her experience participating in the City Council meeting.
      "I think making a better community starts with making good citizens out of the students in the schools," said Stephen Thompson in his essay.
      Stephen, son of Jim and Valerie Thompson, also won the Farm Bureau essay contest this year and placed second in the DAR essay contest.
      From molding citizens to be productive leaders to developing more kid-friendly attractions to checking the streets for potholes, these award winning sixth graders offered some ideas even Mayor Evans could take notes from.

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