Although they have yet to graduate high school, Turlock Unified School District students got a taste of what it takes to lead the City of Turlock from Mayor Gary Soiseth during the Mayor’s Youth Conference on Thursday.
“People think that we just make things happen in Turlock, but in reality we don’t come in and just make a bowling alley—we’ll take that one for example—we set conditions to make a bowling alley come to Turlock,” said Soiseth.
The conference was attended by students from Turlock High School, John H. Pitman High School, Turlock Christian High School, eCademy Charter at Crane School, Roselawn High School, Dutcher Middle School and Turlock Junior High School.
Students got the opportunity to find out exactly how the City of Turlock functions through presentations by City Attorney Phaedra Norton, Assistant to the City Manager for Housing and Economic Development Maryn Pitt, Administrative Services Director Kellie Jacobs-Hunter, Regulatory Affairs Manager Garner Reynolds, Development Services Director and City Engineer Mike Pitcock, Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder, Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson and City Manager Roy Wasden.
“When I look at you, it gives me this wonderful warm feeling that the future is bright, you are our future and there is just no doubt about it,” said Wasden. “We need good, high quality people who care about their community and are willing to serve. We need young people who want to make a difference.”
The conference also included a Mock Turlock City Council Meeting and Turlock City Council members were pleasantly surprised as a steady stream of Turlock Unified School District students lined up behind the podium to ask their questions about Turlock.
After their Mock Turlock City Council Meeting, students walked down to the Public Safety Facility, where they received a tour and learned more about public safety vehicles, including Turlock Fire Department fire engines and Turlock Police Department motorcycles.
Students concluded the day with a tour of the Carnegie Arts Center with Director Lisa McDermott and one-on-one lunch with Soiseth before they departed back to school.