By Jason KUROSU
The conference room usually occupied by Glendale’s city officials hosted some additional company on Students in Government Day on Thursday, Nov. 3. Students from Crescenta Valley, Clark Magnet, Glendale and Hoover high schools took their seats around the conference room table, encircled by city officials. The students, most of which are members of their respective student governments, were able to ask questions directly of the local politicians and learn just what entails a career in government.
The students had some prepared questions, but opportunity and curiosity presented them with chances to really pick the brains of Glendale’s leaders.
When asked what both the “trickiest” and “best” parts of his job are, City Attorney Michael J. Garcia answered, “The trickiest part would be giving advice, especially in a public setting. The best part of the job would be working in an organization like this, one that assists the public and provides a public service.”
Mayor Laura Friedman was also present to field student questions. Friedman spoke about the process of becoming a candidate and what some of the issues are once one is mayor.
When asked what is one of the toughest problems, Friedman replied, “There’s an argument to be made that we should give money to every single department, but it’s tough. There’s a limited amount of money to go around.”
Friedman also spoke on how much help she receives from city officials.
“I don’t pretend to be an engineer. I rely on my department heads to help me prioritize what needs the most attention.”
The students also took time to ask questions that affected them directly, such as asking Parks and Recreation about the status of Stengel Field for future high school graduations or the police about issues of civil liberties.
At the end of the question and answer segment, Administrative Analyst Sharon Garrett, who speaks with businesses about extending into Glendale, revealed that she had a question for the students, asking them to tell her what retailers they would be interested in seeing in Glendale. The students had plenty to talk about.
Afterward, at lunch, Clark senior Chris Sagherian said, “It’s very useful getting to know the aspects of what they see and do on a daily basis.”
Crescenta Valley High senior Eunice Pak said, “This was a good opportunity. I got a different feel of how serious government work is.”
After lunch, the city clerk gave the students a tour of the council chambers, completing the experience of seeing the life of a city official by sitting in their very chambers.