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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Breakfast with the Mayor

12-June-2018
   On Tuesday-12-June the Third Grade Classes from Steen School traveled to Borough Hall to meet with Bogota Mayor Chris Kelemen. The Students were their to learn more about the duties of local Government.  They were met met by Mayor Kelemen, who was joined by Borough Clerk Jeannie Cook, Councilwoman Danele Fede and Councilman Thomas Napolitano. The group entered Borough Hall and told what each office on the first floor  is used for. However the Students  first learned about how the current building was the first official school in Bogota. Then the school was transformed in the seat of the Borough Government. But the building was shared with the Bogota Public Library as well as serving as Police Headquarters. Today the first floor of Borough Hall holds the Clerk Office. The Clerk is in charge of making sure all the other department, and workers all know what happening  with in the Government and  the Borough its'self. The next office was that of the tax collector. This is who records the money the Borough collects in order to pay its bills. From there the Students learn about the Finance Office. This were the money the Borough Collects in taxes, and sometime other grants, and entitlements are used to pay for Borough services. These funds go from everything the Board of Education, and paying the salaries of all the public employees to making sure the trash pick-up company and sewer system is paid for. The Last office that was talked about was the Planning Board which oversees all construction within Bogota. This includes additions to a Family house to large Apartment Complexes like the planned River Club on W. Ft. Lee Rd.
  Next the Students walked up the stairs to see the offices of the Bogota Volunteer Fire Dept. and the Office of Code Enforcement. As they waled up the stairs they could see hostory photos of what Bogota looked like in the past.  They then had a chance to go inside the Mayor's Office and then move to the Council Chambers.  This is where the Third Grades learned about how local government works. In Bogota, the Public elects the Mayor, who is in charge of the Council Meetings, and Six people to serve on Borough Council. The job of the  Council is vote on laws and ordinances that will allow the Borough of Bogota to function in the best possible way. After every Student had a chance to bang the Mayor's Gavel. Everyone walked to the Senior Centre for a breakfast of bagels and juice. While eating the Students had a chance to to Mayor Kelemen in a more personal way.
  After cleaning up after themselves the class walked around the corner to visit police Headquarters. They were greeted by Bogota Police Chief  Daniel Maye  who welcomed them to the station. Chief Maye gave a quick overview of that the local police duties entails.  Making arrest are the most know duty of a Police Officer, but other ways of keeping the public safe could also be traffic control. Finding lost Children or pets and working with the schools and teachers to help educate Students on how they can too help each other stay safe.  Chief Maye was joined by Sgt Geoffrey Coles who showed the youngsters some of his equipment. He let them hold a vest that Offices wear to feel the weight of it.  The Students also had a chanced to feel how hard Handcuffs really are and what it is like to sit in a Police Car and turn on the siren. Then the classes needed to return to Steen after getting a local at how Government works.

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 ( To help  support Bogota Blog NJ with it's coverage of Local stories & sports
 please contribute  at: donate to Bogota Blog NJ )

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