New Smyrna Beach High students to take over city commission

NSB High studentsHeadline Surfer photo by Henry Frederick / New Smyrna Beach High social studies students held a mock city commission meeting last year at city hall. City Commissioner and current County Council dist. 3 candidate Jim Hathaway is shown here sitting in the audience with City Attorney Frank Gummey seated behind him. A new crop of students will do the same on Thursday.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- When Mayor Jaquandra Walker bangs the gavel Thursday morning, she and a dozen or so other New Smyrna Beach High social studies students will have taken over the dais in place of the adult leaders of the community in a mock city commission meeting.

Bob TolleyBob Tolley, a citizen watchdog for 10 years, plays his role in a mock city commission meeting last year. Seated further behind him is Fire Chief Dave McCallister.

Only one issue is on the agenda and is expected to spark lively discussion -- a ban on texting while driving.

Ironically, the Volusia County Council had such a discussion at its Thursday meeting in DeLand.

The mock meeting will begin at 11:45 a.m. in City Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Ave.

Mock City Commissioners assignments are: Madi Gibbs, zone 1, Kenny Helmick, zone 2, James Martin, zone 3, and Austin Hicks, zone 4. Additional mock staff members are City Manager Daly McEver, City Clerk Victoria Pisani, City Attorney Liam May, and Asst. City Manager Rebekkah Price. The public is encouraged to attend to add realism to the exercise. The mock meeting is held in celebration of Government Week, sponsored by the Florida League of Cities.