A junior’s look at local government

By on January 16, 2013

Photo by Preston WhitcraftLititz Mayor Ron Oettel welcomes new junior council member Megan Rothermel to borough chambers.

"I feel that all of our Junior Councilmen have served admirably. After serving their five month term, they have a better understanding of what defines our community and the importance of community service. This experience is meant to encourage them to seek future public service and to lead their peers by example."

– Douglas Bomberger, Lititz Borough Council

"The JCP program enables Council to hear directly from students on issues that are in the ‘now’. It allows the students to explore the breadth of volunteer service opportunities within local government, and they take that information back to their peers. The students come from differing backgrounds, different schools and have varying aspirations, mirroring the residents of our community. It’s also a way for Council to highlight the leaders of tomorrow."

– Karen Weibel, Borough Council President

Lititz’s newest junior council member is Megan Rothermel, a senior at Warwick High School. She is also co-president of PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Support), serves on Student Council, is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, National Business Honors Society and Debate Club.

She also interns at the law firm Montgomery and Zimmerer, and works at Refreshing Mountain. She plans to go to Clarion University after high school and then law school. She is a volunteer coach for Warwick Midget Cheerleading and volunteer at Grace Church in Lititz.

The following is a brief Q&A with the new face in Lititz Borough Hall:

Record Express: What attracted you to the junior council position?

Megan: My dad found the article about applying for junior council person and I thought it would be interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of our town.

Record Express: What have you learned, or expect to learn, about local government?

Megan: So far I learned that the choices they make take a lot of thinking and planning, they don’t just choose to do something for the fun of it. I am hoping to learn what all goes into the decision making process and what being a council member entails.

Record Express: Which borough council issues are of most interest you?

Megan: The issues that discuss the school and things that affect teenagers interest me most, since they directly relate to me.

Record Express: Is the prospect of staying in Lititz after high school or college attractive for Lititz teens?

Megan: For now, all my friends talk about going away to college. None of us really know where we’re going to end up afterwards. Many teenagers say that they want to move as far away from here as possible, but maybe after going through college they will change their minds. I also think that wherever the best job is is where most of us will end up. I’m sure some will move far away and others will stay here.

Record Express: Do high school students discuss local government?

Megan: Honestly no, I don’t hear people talking about local government around the halls of Warwick. I think this is because many of us don’t understand the impact our local government has on our everyday lives. There’s always talk of politics, but more on the large scale.

Record Express: What is your impression of the current Lititz government?

Megan: From what I can see I think it is effective. Everyone there seems to know what they’re talking about. I think they genuinely care about Lititz.

Record Express: Do you have government ambitions beyond Lititz Borough Junior Council?

Megan: For now, all I know is that I want to study political science. Where that will take me, I don’t know. I am very interested in the law, but I also think I’d enjoy being in a government position.

The next session of Lititz Borough Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. More JUNIOR COUNCIL, page A4

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