By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School third-grade students got a civics lesson when city, township leaders, school district and Mahoning County leaders gathered in the school’s library during the school’s annual Civic Day to explain to the students their job duties and responsibilities May 16.
Canfield Township Trustee Marie Cartwright, Canfield City Manager Joseph Warino, Judge Scott Hunter of Canfield County Court, Canfield Local Schools Board of Education President Craig Olson, Youngstown Mayor Chuck Sammarone, Canfield Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Matt Rarick, Department Schools Safety Officer Steve Gartska and Canfield Police Chief Charles Colucci spoke to the students.
Hilltop Elementary School Principal Cathy Mowry opened the program by telling the students that government is comparable to a family.
“Our government is run like the government in your house. Our government is like a big home - to make it work we all have to follow the rules,” Mowry said.
Speakers took turns addressing the students, explaining their positions and the responsibilities and duties that those positions entail.
Mayor Sammarone explained that the mayor is an elected position and is responsible for hiring a police chief fire cheif and must work together with both to make sure the city is safe. He is also responsible for hiring a water commissioner and law director for the city. City Manager Warino told the students it is his job to run the day-to-day operations of the city. He told them that his biggest responsibility is to come up with a budget for the year and to make sure the city stays within that budget.
Chief Colucci explained to the students that it was his job, and number one responsibility, to make sure everyone in Canfield stays safe.
“Our department works with the township trustees, city council and the sheriff’s department to ensure that everyone in Canfield is safe. We also work with school officials to make sure you are all safe while you are at school. You may have noticed the recent changes in security in your school. They are in place to protect everyone in the school. It is an honor and privilege to work for you and keep you safe,” Colucci said.
Canfield Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Matt Rarick told the students his department is unique, as it is run by two people from the city and two people from the township.
“My main responsibility is to teach fire safety to the people of Canfield. I am also in charge of building safety, including your school,” Rarick said.
To close the event, members of the panel took questions from the students.
When the students were finished with their questions, Mowry had one last question for the students.
“How many of you have been inspired by our guest panelists to pursue a career as a city leader, township leader, school district leader, judge or county leader? If so, give me a big thumbs up,” Mowry said.
The students answered Mowry’s question with an enthusiastic group thumbs up, proving they had been inspired by their guest speakers.