Borough welcomes Stoudt Conrad says goodbye as junior council member

By on August 8, 2012

By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

The tradition of youth in local government continues.

Robby Stoudt was sworn in by Mayor Ron Oettel as the newest member of Lititz Borough Council July 31, while outgoing junior council person Jordan Conrad looked on.

Both Stoudt and Conrad will be seniors this fall at Warwick High School.

Stoudt will serve as a junior member of the local government until the end of December, when fellow classmate Megan Rothermel will begin her term.

The junior council person program gives students a first-hand, up-close and personal look at how local government works. Those selected serve during one semester. They are included in every aspect of borough council business, except for voting and executive sessions (typically held to deal with borough real estate or personnel matters).

In the past, junior members have been given tours of local water treatment plants, fire and ambulance facilities and have been invited to provide insight and input on matters before council. In addition, each month the junior council person delivers a report to council on matters of interest to local youth, ranging from school activities to concerns brought to light by their constituents.

It is also hoped that the junior council person will generate interest among young people to become actively involved in their community, either by eventually running for elected office or volunteering to serve on any of several boards, commissions and committees.

For Stoudt, his interest in government came to the attention of council member Doug Bomberger, who suggested he submit an application.

"The selection process consisted of writing an essay about how the youth can have a positive impact on the community and the future of the community," Stoudt said. "It was overall pretty easy because I enjoy writing."

Stoudt has been inspired by his parents and siblings.

"I’m also inspired by my friends and the music I listen to," he added. "I look up to my grandparents and my brothers a lot as my mentors."

Asked what he plans to contribute to borough council as the JCP, he said, "I hope to bring a new perspective to the JCP program and help out with the borough as much as possible. Through my participation, I hope to gain a broader sense of how a municipal government works and also a greater sense of community."

This fall will mark the fourth year Stoudt has been the president of his class at Warwick. He is also a member of the high school’s Interact Club. When he is not busy with school activities or serving on borough council, Stoudt works part-time at Moravian Manor as a dining services aide.

Following high school, he plans to attend college and major in business.

Conrad, who said goodbye to borough council last week, will be missed.

"In the beginning of my junior year, two of my teachers approached me and asked if I would be interested in applying for the Junior Council Person position on the Lititz Borough Council, which was perfect timing because I was really looking for something like this to do," Conrad said. "I had to write an essay about how educating youth in a community on that community’s government can increase the amount of people who come into that area to live. It was a really daunting and wide question. It took me a long time to get my essay just how I wanted it. In the end, I narrowed the question down into Lititz terms, and explained how teaching young people about this great place they live make them feel more connected to it, which ended up being exactly what happened for me."

Conrad credits her dad as her biggest role model.

"A lot of who I am and what I want to do with my life comes from him," she said. "He was a Marine, and I’m very proud of that. My social sciences teacher, Mr. Derosa, is also a huge mentor for me. I don’t think he even realizes it! He’s a great motivator who really cares about me and my future, and I owe a lot of my success in high school to him."

Upon graduation, Conrad plans on going to college at either Ohio State or Pitt and then joining the United States Navy, which she says has always been a dream of hers.

"I’m looking forward to a career in law enforcement," she said.

Conrad has enjoyed exceptional rapport between herself and the rest of borough council.

"When I started as a JCP my goal was to keep the borough updated on happenings at Warwick High School, and also the cool things my peers were doing outside of school. I wanted them to hear about events kids were putting together, success in sports, prom, fundraisers, etc. I was hoping to show them all the great things my age group is able to do for our community."

In the end, Conrad said she gained much from serving.

"I feel a lot more connected to Lititz and I look at it in a whole new light," she said. "I never realized just how much effort goes into running a little town like Lititz. The other members of the council do such a great job and they really take care of everyone in our town."

Besides having served on borough council, Conrad maintains a part-time job as a cashier at CVS. She also dances at the Dance Dynamix studio in Lititz. On top of that, she dances for the school dance team, the Warriorettes, where this year she will serve as the team’s co-captain.

"I’m beyond excited," she said about her future. "I do have in interest in government work. A few weeks ago I went down to the capitol in Harrisburg and guest paged for John Bear and loved it. You will see my name on a ballot in the future for sure. Vote Conrad! I would advise anyone my age to apply for a junior council position. Also, I would advise community members to attend a borough council meeting. It is absolutely wonderful to see a group of people work with your best interests at heart." More JUNIOR COUNCIL, page A15

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