Mayor Carl L. Blum rolled out the red carpet to welcome students from the newly-opened Oasis Trilingual Community School to the Temple City community.
Oasis Students were invited to City Hall to meet the mayor, along with Zoning Commissioner Michael Forbes and Camellia Festival Director Nanette Fish, to learn how the council makes decisions and approves spending.
Zoning commissioner Forbes explained to the students how the city is divided into zones that allow certain types of buildings in different places, so that neighborhoods stay smaller and residential, and business areas comply with all the laws to keep the city safe and clean.
Mayor Blum then explained his duties overseeing the council that makes all local government decisions. Anyone with a project or issue requiring city approval schedules in one of the twice-a-month meetings to make a presentation to the council. The council members hear the presentation and vote on each matter with a majority rule. In the event of a tie, the mayor breaks it with a final vote. Mayor Blum explained that in Temple City, each council member serves as Mayor for a four-year period, switching at the end of each term so every council member can eventually serve as mayor.
The Oasis students then told the mayor about their new school, located right around the corner from city hall, explaining it was a K-6 grade immersion school that teaches subjects in Mandarin, Spanish and English, and mixes studying with ongoing projects. The students presented the mayor with a 3D model of Temple City they constructed as a class project, with all the city’s buildings labeled in Mandarin, Spanish and English.
It was time to sing songs, one each in Mandarin, Spanish and English, that the students sang for the council, including one reciting all 50 U.S. states!
Finally the group got to the very best part of the trip: when the students took over the council member jobs and actually voted on a real matter! Temporary Mayor and third grader Zhi Zhi Flores, with gavel in hand, presided over the other students filling in as council members, and all voted on what time of day to have the annual school Christmas party. It was a majority decision to have it in the morning, so more kids could come.
Oasis students were excited to learn about how the government worked, and proud to serve, helping to solve important community business. The trip concluded with a quick march back to the school to reassume their roles as regular elementary students and use what they learned to tackle a new project ahead.