Young mayor gives teen insight into running a town
Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin recently had a chance to impart his knowledge and experience as the leader of the town and welcomed a local teen to see firsthand what it means to be in charge of a municipality.
James Proctor III interned in Paulin’s shadow at Indian Head Town Hall from July 11 through 22, and the Waldorf student described it as a remarkable experience he will never forget.
“It was amazing meeting the youngest mayor in the country,” Proctor said. “He taught me a lot and told me about what he’s trying to work on in the town like fixing the main water supply, trying to get businesses to come to the town, making Indian Head larger and well-known, as well as getting more funding from the state and county.”
Proctor is a junior at North Point High School, where he currently runs track. He also runs for the Comets of Charles County, a track team which practices at Henry E. Lackey High School. He has prospective colleges in mind and plans to become a physician.
His father, James Proctor Jr., a Waldorf resident who is in the military, said he was impressed by what Paulin has accomplished in such a short time as mayor and he knew his son could learn a lot from him.
“As my wife and I were looking at internship options for my son, I reached out to Paulin’s dad who I used to work with and we just coordinated it from there,” Proctor Jr. said.
During the internship, Proctor III said he learned how to use a scanner, how to update and manage projects and how to use Excel. He helped make life easier for the town staff by organizing all of the town’s hard copy blueprints, labeling them and scanning them into their computers and servers.
“In the longterm it’s going to help our Public Works Department with the plans that were falling apart and it will bring the town into the 21st century,” Paulin said.
“Now it’s really easy,” Proctor said. “All they have to do is go onto the computer and find a folder for that particular blueprint and it’s right there to help solve the problem. I also filed forms for some of the secretaries, and Mayor Paulin and I went around and supported the local businesses. We went to a local restaurant, ate with the owners and spoke with them about their needs.”
For a teen who has never had a real job before, Proctor III said he rose to the challenge every day for two weeks. He said it felt good to see what the real world is like as he prepares to go to college and join the workforce.
“I don’t mean to brag, but my son is a bright kid,” Proctor Jr. said. “My son is the only male in the North Point High School STI [Science, Technology and Industry] Biotechnology program. He’s very hardworking and intelligent. He was very enthusiastic about working with the mayor in particular and the town staff. I think it was an eye-opener for him because it enabled him to gain some real life experience.”
Proctor III admits that he didn’t know much about the Town of Indian Head prior to his internship at town hall, but he has since learned so much about Indian Head that he hopes for it to prosper in the near future.
“I really hope that the town does expand and become very rich in business,” Proctor said. “I hope that the town would connect with the rest of Charles County, especially Waldorf and La Plata, that are booming with business. I hope to see more businesses and residents use their resources and the naval base to come together to make the town great.”
Paulin said that an internship at Indian Head Town Hall is great work experience for young people and he is willing to write a letter of recommendation for anyone who will volunteer or intern with the elected officials and staff.
“Proctor III did a fantastic job at town hall,” Paulin said. “He’s extremely respectful, responsible and overall a really good person. Towards the end of the internship I took him to lunch because I can tell this kid is really going places. I think it’s something that we will continue doing and anyone can talk to me or Town Manager Ryan Hicks to see about any volunteer or internship opportunities at town hall. We’re always looking for free help.”
Mayor of Indian Head Brandon Paulin, student intern James Proctor III and Town Manager Ryan Hicks at Indian Head Town Hall after Proctor finished his two-week internship with the mayor and his staff.