Fifth-graders from Mohave Accelerated Elementary School sat in the council chamber last week and conducted a mock Bullhead City Council meeting. It was part of a day-long field trip that also included visits to the police station and the Mohave County Courthouse. Teacher Thomas Hein said the group is studying how local government works. The mock city council consisted of Mayor Savannah Medrano, Vice Mayor Laisyc Conlogue and Councilmembers Alyssa Donegan, Josiah Powell, Emma Feliz, Cash Keller and Katelyn Matsumoto. 

BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Council meeting Friday afternoon opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

The council heard from citizens concerning their wish that a children’s hospital be opened here. Members heard from the city manager that there would be major youth sports tournaments in town for an upcoming weekend.

And they approved the extension of Laughlin Ranch Boulevard to Highway 95 and discussed a proposal for a youth center near the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce building.

It was an impressive output for a group of fifth-graders.

The mock council meeting wrapped up a day of learning about local government, teacher Thomas Hein said.

The Mohave Accelerated Elementary School students spent the morning in Judge Rick Williams’ courtroom at the Mohave County Courthouse. Hein said they watched about three hours of

juvenile court proceedings.

They later had the opportunity to ask Williams a lot of questions about the justice system and his career path, Hein said.

After lunch at Ken Fovargue Community Park, the fifth-graders went to the Bullhead City Administration Complex and toured the police station, including the forensics division and the SWAT team.

They wrapped up that visit by sitting in on a briefing for the swing shift.

They also met Mayor Tom Brady and learned about his background.

The mock council meeting included a mayor, council members, city staff and concerned citizens. Brady was among the adults in the audience.

Hein said the students had been practicing for the mock meeting. He said the meeting agenda was hypothetical. It contained a few pieces that were taken from real meetings in the past, but the majority of the material was made up.

“It was just to give the kids a sense of how the process works,” Hein said.

During the meeting, City Manager Sophie Schmaltz and staff made presentations on agenda items, and council members asked questions.

Mayor Savannah Medrano also asked members of the public for their input. Decisions came after debate among council members.

Hein said the field trip was about the fifth-graders getting a chance to see real -life topics they have studied.

He said he would like to take a future class to Phoenix to sit in on a Arizona Legislature session.

Student Sydney Zimmerman took video of the mock council meeting. She said she found the field trip pretty educational.

“It was pretty cool to go to courtroom and talk to the mayor,” Zimmerman said. “I liked (that we got) to show how hard the kids worked and that we appreciate his job.”

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