An upcoming contest is giving CCSD students a chance to say how they would run the city

by: KEVIN SPERL - Prineville City Mayor, Betty Roppe is offering high school students the chance to take her gavel for the day, in the 'If I were Mayor, I would...' contest.

Have you ever hoped for an opportunity to take control of the City of Prineville, if only for a day?

Crook County students will have just that opportunity as Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe has announced her willingness to step aside, if just for a moment, and let a student run the show.

The Oregon Mayors Association is sponsoring the "If I were mayor, I would"" contest, and has encouraged mayors across the state to participate, hoping they send local winners on to the state-level competition in May.

“I want to raise awareness amongst students about government at the county and local level,” said Roppe, “There is more to government than just the president of the United States.”

Roppe has secured a commitment from the school district that at least one elementary, middle school and high school class will participate in the contest, and she is looking forward to receiving numerous entries.

There will be three local winners.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students are asked to create a poster, middle school students will submit an essay, and high school students will create a video or PowerPoint presentation submitted on a DVD or CD.

In all categories, students are encouraged to explain why they would like to be mayor and what they would hope to accomplish.

All entries will be judged by the mayor and city council on creativity, thought, proper use of grammar and relevancy to the subject.

Roppe will invite the winners to attend a council meeting to present their project and promises to take them all to lunch.

For the lucky high school winner, Roppe will pass them the gavel for a day and the student will participate in all of the mayor's meetings, possibly a city council session and be introduced to all departments, depending on the student's schedule.

Roppe hopes that the contest generates enough awareness to interest a high school student to explore becoming a student representative to the council.

"We would appreciate the youth perspective on a lot of issues going on in the city," said Roppe.

All submissions must be received by Roppe no later than April 23, so that she can submit the winners to the state contest.

First place winners, at the state level, will be awarded an iPad Air tablet while those placing second will receive a Kindle. The state winners, and their parents, will be recognized at the OMA annual conference in Pendleton on Friday, August 8.

For more information about the contest, visit

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