This year, the City of Sault Ste. Marie partnered with the Soo North Rotary Club for the City’s first-ever Mayor for a Day contest. The competition was open to elementary students in Grades 5 and 6. Students were encouraged to submit essays, poems, videos or songs explaining why they wanted to be the Mayor, what they would do as Mayor and how they came up with their ideas.
The response from schools and students was fantastic, with many original and creative submissions received. It was no easy task for the selection committee to narrow down the entries. However, in the end, one particular submission stood out: an essay from Muammar Amhalhal, a Grade 6 student from Ben R. McMullin. Mayor Provenzano phoned Muammar himself to tell him the good news, that he had been chosen as Sault Ste. Marie’s first-ever Mayor for a Day!
Muammar’s essay was at once humourous but also very thoughtful. Muammar’s family is originally from Libya, a country that has experience violence and instability in recent years. Muammar wrote that he appreciated Sault Ste. Marie because it is a very safe and peaceful community.
As Mayor for a Day, Muammar had the chance to see how City Hall really works on June 13th! Muammar and his Grade 5/6 class started the day with a pizza party at noon at the Civic Centre. The class also toured City Hall and had a Q&A with Mayor Provenzano in the Council chambers.
While his class had to depart by early afternoon, Mayor Muammar’s day at City Hall continued. He spent some time in the Mayor’s Office, was interviewed by SooToday, and had the chance to learn about firefighting (including riding in a fire truck) with members of Sault Fire Services.
Around 4:00 p.m., Muammar’s family arrived and Muammar changed into a suit to get ready for Council. Muammar opened the meeting and took the Councillors through the beginning of the agenda. He then read his winning essay about why he wanted to be the Mayor. Muammar was then presented with a special medal and gift by members of Soo North Rotary. When Mayor Provenzano asked if Muammar had anything else to add he said, “I want to say thank you everyone, and I’m going to be your future Mayor so watch out!”