City chooses ‘If I Were Mayor’ winners

Four Cottage Grove students are moving on to compete in the statewide “If I Were Mayor” contest, a youth-oriented competition sponsored by the Oregon Mayors Association (OMA).

The competition encourages youths to share their creative ideas about what they would do as mayor in the form of posters (elementary school), essays (middle school) or digital media presentations (high school).

Mayor Jeff Gowing and city councilors judged the local entries before announcing winners at the April 26 city council meeting.

First place for the video submission ended in a tie, awarded to high schoolers MJ Raade and Kourtney Owens, while the first-place essay went to middle schooler Ethan Tanton.

Elementary school poster awards went to Violet Brockelman (first place), Aayla Appellof (second place) and Emily Mayfield (third place).

All first-place winners are being submitted to the statewide competition.

During the Cottage Grove City Council meeting, Raade’s and Owens’ submissions were played for the audience.

In her video, Raade introduced the concept of educating citizens on the functions of city government through a “Citizens Advisory Program” which would offer educational tours of city departments.

Owens’ video suggested preserving the community’s unique features through a “shop local” campaign and historic site restoration efforts.

Mayor Gowing said he would like to see the youths’ ideas actualized.

“I want to work with Kourtney and MJ and I think we can actually make these a reality,” he said. “They’re both really good ideas and I’m proud of the work that they did.”

Judging by OMA members will occur in early to mid-June and statewide winners and their mayors will be notified shortly after the judging takes place.

First place winners and their parents will be invited to attend the awards luncheon held during the OMA Annual Conference in North Bend at the Mill Casino on July 31 where they will receive their prizes — a gift valued at $500.

OMA staff will contact parent(s) of statewide winners in June to arrange travel to the conference.

Funding is available for second-place prizes, which will be given to mayors to present locally following the conference.

Locally, cash prizes were doled out last week to first and second prize winners.

In the poster contest, first place received $50 and second place $25 while the essay winner received $75 and the video winners each received $100.

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