Mayor shares lessons in gov­ern­ment with stu­dents

Class gets an­swers to ques­tions asked in let­ters sent to Smyth

The Signal - - NEWS - By Christina Cox Sig­nal Staff Writer

Mayor Cameron Smyth sur­prised third and fourth grade stu­dents at Plum Canyon Ele­men­tary School Wed­nes­day by an­swer­ing their let­ters to him in per­son.

“It’s im­por­tant that you guys know that I got your let­ters, I read your let­ters and I wanted to come and an­swer your ques­tions right here in per­son,” Smyth told the class­room of stu­dents.

About two or three weeks ago, Shana Morda’s class wrote let­ters to the mayor fol­low­ing their lessons on lo­cal, state and na­tional gov­ern­ments.

Smyth was so im­pressed with the let­ters and the ques­tions asked that he de­cided to visit the class­room, share his story with stu­dents and an­swer their ques­tions di­rectly.

“I re­ally like talk­ing to you all,” Smyth said. “This is the best part of my job.”

Dur­ing his visit, Smyth an­swered ques­tions about every­thing from his fa­vorite sports teams and pres­i­dents to his traf­fic in the city and adding new parks.

Smyth was par­tic­u­larly im­pressed that stu­dents were in­ter­ested in the po­ten­tial ex­pan­sion of David March Park and the ad­di­tion of a new Santa Clarita Public Li­brary in Sau­gus.

He also took a sug­ges­tion to heart about adding more play struc­tures and ar­eas for “big kids” in parks through­out the city.

“That is a re­ally good thought, let

me look into it,” Smyth said. “You want those play struc­tures to be for ev­ery­body.”

Smyth also shared his own story of how he got in­volved in politics by work­ing on his father’s cam­paign for city coun­cil where he saw first­hand the value of each per­son’s vote.

“I ended up work­ing to help my dad get elected,” Smyth said. “When you get older, don’t let any­one tell you your vote doesn’t mat­ter or your vote doesn’t count be­cause I was there and watched my dad get elected by eight votes, ev­ery sin­gle vote does count.”

The mayor also told the stu­dents that they can share their thoughts with their lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives any time by speak­ing at city coun­cil meet­ings.

“We have meet­ings ba­si­cally ev­ery two weeks… and those are open to the public. That is when we make de­ci­sions and vote on is­sues and that’s also when the public can come and talk to us,” Smyth said. “That’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween your lo­cal gov­ern­ment and if you’re in Sacra­mento and Wash­ing­ton, D.C.”

Smyth said he also liked work­ing in lo­cal gov­ern­ment as mayor be­cause he ap­pre­ci­ates how he can make a dif­fer­ence in his own com­mu­nity.

“It feels very spe­cial to me be­cause this is where I grew up… and it feels good when I’m able to help,” he said.

Michelle Logan/For The Sig­nal

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth takes ques­tions from Plum Canyon Ele­men­tary School stu­dents on Wed­nes­day after go­ing through lessons deal­ing with gov­ern­ment.

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