Oil City mayor enthused about junior council program

Oil City Council is looking for high school students living in Oil City to apply for council’s new junior council person program.

Oil City Mayor John Kluck said he hopes that by getting young people involved in their community in high school, it would keep them from leaving the area after graduation and show them the opportunities open to them here.

Any junior or senior who lives in the city is eligible to apply for the program.

Kluck, who is a fifth-grade teacher at the Oil City Middle School, described the high schoolers he would like to see apply as “anyone who wants to be civic minded and volunteer and is interested in government.”

The students’ job is to learn more about how government works and how the city works, Kluck said.

“There is way more to the city than people think,” Kluck said. He added that he has already learned a lot in his first month and a half as mayor.

Kluck said he is hoping to get eight to 10 applicants. Council will review the applications and make appointments during a council meeting.

Two of the applicants, ideally one junior and one senior, will be selected.

The junior will then have the opportunity to continue as a junior council member as a senior, and a new junior would be chosen each year, Kluck said.

Junior council members will be expected to attend the twice a month council meetings during the school year. Though not required, they are encouraged to continue to attend the meetings during the summer, Kluck said.

They will be allowed to attend all council meetings and committee meetings but wouldn’t be able to vote or attend executive sessions. The students would not receive any sort of compensation.

In addition, Kluck said, the two students will be asked to plan one youth event during the year. He said it could be in conjunction with the Oil Heritage Festival or another festival or standalone event.

“I want to get them involved doing something in the community,” Kluck said.

Social studies teachers at Oil City High School will be emailing their students about the program, Kluck said.

Copies of an informational flyer and application will be available at City Hall for any homeschooled or private school students living within Oil City, he added.

The deadline to apply this school year is Feb. 29. Students will be selected for the program in March by Kluck and city council.

Beginning next year, Kluck said, the applications will be due in September shortly after the start of school and students will serve the entire school year.