Thriftymomma Goes to City Hall

Thriftymomma goes to city hall. Oh yeah and that’s my kid Ainsley, sitting in Mayor Joe Fontana’s chair.
One of the best things about having children for me, an introvert and former shy person, is how they expand your world socially. Several months ago my youngest daughter befriended London city Councillor Sandy White. Ainsley has a way of doing that. At that time Coun. White offered to have Ainsley take a tour of city hall and it was something my quirky kid went nuts for. In fact she kept asking for several months when the tour was going to take place. Some kids twitch on Pokemon, others on hockey or collecting Go Gos Crazy Bones. Mine, well she is all about field trips and politicking. So on a down day this winter we finally connected with city hall and showed up for our appointment. It was a fantastic field trip I wanted to share.

In grade five, Payton is learning Canadian politics and the unit has been a bit dry. A hands on trip to city hall sparked her interest again. She compiled all of her information and took it back to her teacher to suggest a field trip. The field trips are free for interested groups. But you have to call and arrange the date and time. (So seriously teachers what are you waiting for? Free means only the cost of the bus!!) We learned that a group of nine-year-olds made a presentation only about two years ago and they convinced the adults to build a skateboard park in London. How cool is that? Kids make a difference. Darn, right!

My kids enjoyed learning about their city

London is also known as the forest city.
Population 352,000
You must be 18 to be elected in the city of London
Mayor Joe Fontana is our 63rd mayor.
There are 15 members of city council
Everyone gets five minutes to speak when they address city council.
The ceremonial sceptre sits on a special stand when council is in session.
The sceptre is never touched by human hands (the person who carries it needs gloves)
The next election is October 2014.
Oh and did you know that you do not have to live in London to be the mayor?
You can have a biz here or own property inside the city.

Every year 3-4 schools are chosen to decorate the Christmas trees inside city hall

City hall has 11 floors of offices.
3000 people are employed by the city of London (spread throughout town.)
Many city councillors have part time jobs also.
One is a teacher and Sandy White is a social worker.

The city of London is a multicultural centre and has artwork representing many ethnic groups in the building.

My older daughter left brainstorming ideas for environmental issues she would like to talk to city council about.
How great is that?

Thanks to city hall staff and Sandy White for arranging our field trip.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.