By KAROLYN GEPHART
Friendswood City Council met Oct. 1, but at one point in the meeting all elected officials were replaced. It was temporary and involved a new approach to educating youth by government in action.
Select second-grade students from Cline Elementary participated in the council meeting to take part in a mock governance simulation. These students replaced the mayor, city council, and staff at the dais.
While seated there, the students with nameplates representing each council and staff member there considered and voted on a resolution declaring Oct. 2, 2018, as Cline Elementary Day in Friendswood.
“This is our new Friendswood Educational Outreach Program to teach our youth the value of community service, to understand government, to foster leadership and to provide additional character education that is so much a part of the curriculum in FISD,” Mayor Mike Foreman said. “This is the first of three programs that will take place. In the upcoming months we will honor both Wedgewood and Westwood Elementary Schools as well.”
The students voted unanimously for the resolution. At the end of their presentation, the mayor, council members, city attorney, city manager and city secretary stood behind the seated youth and council made it official with their unanimous vote.
“Our schools and young people are a source of pride for our community. Giving these young students an opportunity to experience city government first hand was a treat for all of us on council and I’m glad the mayor suggested it. They were fantastic,” council member Trish Hanks said.
A reception took place immediately afterward.
In other council news, James Ruthstrom, a peace officer with the Friendswood Police Department, was honored with the Five Star Spirit Award for the second quarter of 2018. Ruthstrom began working for the city in December 2016.
Ruthstrom was nominated after responding to a call at Centennial Park for a 52 year old male that was not breathing. For approximately 15 minutes Officer Ruthstrom performed CPR and assisted the Fire Chief until EMS could arrive. Once EMS took over, Officer Ruthstrom assisted by cutting clothing, getting supplies from the ambulance, prepping the IV, and loading the patient into the ambulance.
Council agreed that his actions exemplify the attributes of the Five Star Spirit Award: being Courteous, Competent, Reliable, Professional and Enthusiastic.
Police Captain Shari Forward was designated the new director of Animal Control and the city’s designated Local Rabies Control Authority. Deputy Chief Loeser who holds those positions currently is retiring. Forward will also replace Deputy Chief Loeser on the Animal Control Advisory Committee.
Council also approved the designation of the Friendswood Reporter News as the Official Newspaper for the City of Friendswood for a term of service from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2020.