Oklahoma City, OK - The 2019 winners of the annual “If I Were Mayor” essay contest were recently announced in conjunction with the Mayors’ Council of Oklahoma (MCO) and the Oklahoma Municipal League’s (OML) Congress of Mayors event held at the state capitol.
The purpose of the essay contest is to provide an opportunity for students to begin engagement with their communities. The MCO asks that the mayors in each community reach out to their 8th-grade students to discuss what the functions are of a mayor so that they can begin to understand how a community is led and to understand the vital role that mayors play.
The essay contest is open to all Oklahoma 8th grade students. This year’s winners are as follows:
1st Place: Seth Brown, Stilwell Public Schools, teacher, Jennifer Turman, Mayor, Jim Spray
2nd Place: Tanner Taylor, Granite Public Schools, teacher, Sue Zinn, Mayor, Tony Scarborough
3rd Place: McKinley Stilley, Calumet Public Schools, teacher, Christy Lee, Mayor, Lacey Rowell
In his winning essay, Seth Brown focused primarily on the need to revitalize the community. To help accomplish this goal, he recommended developing a community recreational center, which would benefit both adults and youth. He encouraged a partnership between the community and the Cherokee Nation to build the facility, considering that Adair County has the highest Cherokee population in the 14-county area.
Second place winner, Tanner Taylor, stated in his essay that his focus, if the mayor, would be to do the best job possible for his community. Also, he said that he would strive to grow the community, and have it become a town that is both friendly and helpful. He would also encourage debate among citizens and give every voice an opportunity to be heard.
McKinley Stilley, third place winner, stated that a goal for her community, if the mayor, would be to have a safe place for youth to grow up. She added that she would also promote the idea of building a community pool, which would be financed through a bond. “The pool would provide a place for family entertainment, as well as be a source of sales tax revenue,” Stilley said.
The Oklahoma Municipal League is the authoritative source for information, training and resources on effective local government for member organizations and is recognized as THE respected voice of Oklahoma municipalities in the State.
The Mayors' Council of Oklahoma was formed in 1991 as a bipartisan organization to represent the concerns and views of the body of the state’s Mayors. MCO provides a vehicle for the development and implementation of programs of multi-jurisdictional cooperation between cities and towns designed to lessen the burden on local government. Oklahoma Mayors make the commitment to work through the conference to improve their own communities as well as the conditions facing cities and towns throughout the state and nation.