Yesterday, Central High School hosted a gathering of elected officials, including Independence Mayor McArdle, Monmouth Mayor Koontz, and Representative Paul Evans, who engaged with senior-level government class students. Additionally, city staff from the Community Development and Economic Development departments of both cities delivered presentations on local planning, business initiatives, and city events. Following the staff presentations, both mayors answered questions students submitted, ranging from what a mayor’s salary is to what motivates them to do their job. 

“We’re both volunteers,” laughed Mayor Koontz. “We do this because we believe in helping our communities become the best they can be.” 

The forum was organized in collaboration with Central High School staff and the student body council.

At the end of the session, students were encouraged to participate in their local government by applying to be part of boards, commissions, and internships. Moreover, they were motivated to embrace their role in shaping the community that has nurtured them.

“Over 20 years ago, folks got together to create a vision for a better community,” said Mayor McArdle. “You are now part of the group that will create the next vision.” 

The cities of Independence and Monmouth look forward to partnering with Central High School to deliver similar gatherings regularly and fostering ongoing engagement with the future leaders of our communities.