With key in hand, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger moved his office to Burlington High School Monday morning.
"We are having a city council meeting here in the school tonight. We think it might be the first time ever there has been a city council meeting outside of Contois Auditorium," Mayor Weinberger said.
Weinberger and his staff are setting up shop at BHS for the week. Their goal is to see education in action and the 'Partnership for Change' initiative designed to transform the way students learn.
"I can't think of anymore significant way to spend the week than bringing attention to this critical conversation," Mayor Weinberger said.
The effort also aims to give students access to the mayor to share the issues important to them. "I think that one of the issues that I had been thinking about was getting more technology in schools and trying to integrate a 21st century classroom," said Lily Weissgold, a BHS 9th grader.
"I think bullying and racism is definitely one that has come up as a topic of discussion," said Annika Freudenberger, grade 11.
The day was filled with fanfare and cameras and had some students divided about the Mayor coming to campus. "I think he does value the relationships with the students and the staff at the high school," Freudenberger said.
"I think that it was a PR stunt because he had said in his campaign that he would do this and that was one of his running points," Weissgold said.
Reporter Keith McGilvery: Critics may say this is a wonderfully executed publicity stunt, What do you say?
Weinberger: It's not a publicity stunt. I will tell you what it is, this is a conversation about the future of our children, it is a conversation about our local economy.
Still, even the critics admit their access to the mayor this week is pretty unique and it's giving them a closer look at how their government works. "I think it is a great opportunity for students to interact with city government and see what really goes on in the big white building that we know to be our city hall," Weissgold said.
The Mayor has set up more than 30 meetings for his time at BHS -- and his working lunch with students was an early hit. "Lunch was good. It was good. It's come a long way in 25 years," Weinberger said.
Tuesday he'll trade in his reserved parking for a bus pass when he rides the bus to school.
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