Those were just a few of the things that two dozen seniors from Perryville and St. Vincent High Schools learned during the second annual Perryville City Government Day sponsored Feb. 4 by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 133.
The event began with introductions of Auxiliary members, city officials and students at Perryville City Hall. Students were then paired with a city official who spent the next hour showing the students the how, when and why of their duties. City Administrator Brent Buerck then led presentations that included Robert's Rules of Order, the development of the city's new Website, and how the city staff prepares a budget of $20-24 million each year. The American Legion hosted a luncheon later in the day.
City leaders who participated in City Government Day included Mayor Debbie Gahan, City Adminstrator Brent Buerck, City Clerk Tracy Prost, City Treasurer Donna Strattmann, City Collector Lori Carroll, Municipal Court Judge Robert Hershey, Code Enforcement Officer and Assistant Building Inspector Joe Martin, Chief of Police Keith Tarrillion, EMS Director and Assistant Fire Chief Bill Jones, City Engineer Tim Baer, Parks and Rec Director Jared Tanz, Public Works Department Street/Refuse Supervisor David Clements, Public Works Department Gas Crew Leader Jesse Whistler, Public Works Department Water Crew Leader Jeremy Mantz, and Water/Wastewater Plant Manager Jeremy Meyer.
EMS Director Bill Jones told the students that the local "volunteer" firefighters aren't really volunteers. "We do get paid a small amount for each call we answer," he said.
"And the city's firefighters are also the rural fire association's firefighters."
Jones also told students that the fire department's main duties after putting out fires are search and rescue.
"We conduct searches when an elderly person wanders away from the nursing home or a child is missing," he said. "On the rescue side, we search buildings damaged in storms and those who are trapped in auto accidents."
Participating students from St. Vincent were Holly Cissell and Alex Miget with the mayor, Matt Prost with the city administrator, Heather Schnurbusch with the city clerk and treasurer, Trenton Gremaud with the city collector, Danielle Naeger and Monika Smith with the municipal court judge, Lucas Caroll with the building inspector and codes officer, Kyle McDonald with the chief of police, Jesse Francis with the EMS director and assistant fire chief, Jonathan Meinhardt with the city engineer, Kale Wehmeyer with the parks and rec director, Stephen Ernst with the public works supervisor, Lucas Janet and with the water department supervisor.
Participating PHS students were Bridget Schumer with the mayor, Lauren Buxton with the city administrator, Melissa Lankford with the city clerk and treasurer, Kaitlyn Ellsworth with the city collector, Kara Leimbach with the the building inspector and codes officer, Katie Brown with the chief of police, Linzie Lipp with the EMS director and assistant fire chief, Seth Noland with the city engineer, Peyton Walker with the parks and rec director, Grant Voelker with the public works supervisor and David Mattingly with the water department supervisor.