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City appoints eight students to new Auburn Junior City Council

Appointed to the Junior City Council were, from left: Sydney Campbell; Dalton Hands; Tyler Cushing; Mauricio Martinez-Torres; Olivia Thomas; and Mary Riel.  - Courtesy photo
Appointed to the Junior City Council were, from left: Sydney Campbell; Dalton Hands; Tyler Cushing; Mauricio Martinez-Torres; Olivia Thomas; and Mary Riel.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Appointments to the various boards and commissions that serve the City of Auburn often glide by unnoticed, unheralded, a routine part of business.

Not so the eight appointments made Monday night in the Auburn City Council Chambers: Sydney Campbell; Tyler Cushing; Anton Mahoney, Dalton Hands; Alison Hand; Mauricio Martinez-Torres; Mary Riel; and Olivia Thomas.

And what makes these particular names so special?

Well, the first seven students within the Auburn School District ever appointed to the Auburn Junior City Council happen to answer to them.

And there has never been such a thing as the Auburn Junior Council in the City's history.

The City formed the junior council, comprised this round of students from all high schools within the district, two middle schools and one home-schooler, to keep the Auburn City Council up to date on kid-related matters, from the youth curfew to gang issues and beyond.

Cascade Middle School's Dalton Hands, sharp in a black suit only slightly oversized, and speaking with a poise way beyond his years, gave a sample of what Auburn residents may expect from members of their new Junior City Council.

"I wanted to talk mainly about our teens today and how we can get them off the streets and back into work," said Hands, addressing the City Council. "I think if we provided more academic and after-school activities instead of just letting the children out of school, then I think we could get more of them into ideas like Auburn Junior City Council and maybe some sports, and just all around keep kids off of the streets and help them get their grades up."

Mayor Pete Lewis said the Junior City Council is no feel-good gimmick.

"This is not something that is just going to be cute — we really expect a body of work out of this," Lewis said.

To launch the council, the City appointed four of the students to one-year appointments and four to two-year appointments. As time goes on, appointees from the different schools are to serve successive two-year terms.

The Junior City Council's meetings are to be open to the public, open to questions from the audience and televised.

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