Last week, I visited a Westberry School Grade 4/5 class studying local government. Councillor Henry and I had a great visit and were asked some great questions by the students. In fact, they prepared 19 questions for me. You can see the answers on my blog.
I learned a few things as I prepared to meet the class. For example, did you know that Kindersley has a total of 209 active bylaws? The oldest active bylaw dates back to 1958 and is about street and lane closures. Our current Council has passed 41 bylaws including some that have been changed or rescinded. So far this year, we have passed 4 bylaws.
Looking through the list of bylaws, I was relieved to not see anything embarrassing. Other communities have bylaws that restrict garbage burning on Mondays or regulations outlining how to ‘park’ horses on Main St. One of the questions asked by the students was whether we would impose a curfew on children. They, including the teacher and education assistant, were surprised that we have such a bylaw. I was flabbergasted to see Bylaw 24-00 “A Bylaw to Regulate the Hours of the Day in Which Minors May Be in a Public Place Without Adult Supervision;” it dates to the year 2000. This bylaw may be better known as the “Town of Kindersley’s Curfew Bylaw.” Youth under 18 are not to be without adult supervision between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM. The fine is $50 for the first offence and $100 for subsequent offences and the parents can also be fined.
The students were great as we held a ‘mock Council.’ We pretended to have a Council meeting and they passed two resolutions: one to permit/allow swearing (no anti swearing bylaw), and another to rescind/cancel the ‘curfew bylaw.’ They were eager to learn and positively engaged.
One of the other questions asked was about the challenges of being Mayor. One of my responses was that people can be mean as they speak with me, Council, and Administration. The afternoon left me wondering: How do we move from polite and curious kids eager to learn about government to adults who focus on the negative, even to the point of comparing people and organizations to Hitler and the Nazis?
Please write or phone if you would like me to discuss a particular topic. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at the town office or email me at email@example.com. You can also check out my blog at http://mayorjohn.blogspot.ca/. I appreciate your feedback.