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What’s it like being in public office?

Delta Force says ‘it’s not easy’

February 25, 2011
By Jenny Lancour

ESCANABA - Participants in a community leadership program found out it's not too easy being a public official making big decisions for others.

During a mock meeting of Delta Force at city hall Thursday, participants - pretending to be commissioners, city staff, and the public - put together a balanced budget of $1 million while gaining an appreciation for real-life public officials.

Department heads presented their financial needs and commissioners decided what to add and what to cut in the interest of the citizens of Delta Force. The exercise was part of Delta Force's Government Day to experience local government and meet with local officials.

Article Photos

Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Members of Delta Force, a community leadership program, participate in a mock commission meeting involving the creation of a budget for the city of “Delta Force” at Escanaba City Hall Thursday. The session was part of Government Day for the 19-member group.

Jennifer Baumler, of Escanaba, was the mock mayor. She commented that she was "drained" after the budget was finally approved.

As "mayor," she commended the department heads for their fabulous presentations.

"Tough times require us to make tough decisions. We pulled together as a team to balance the budget," Baumler said.

"Commissioner" Audra VanDamme, of Escanaba, agreed making big budget decisions is not an easy task. She said, "It was tough."

Escanaba resident Cory Kuchenberg, representing the mock city's public safety department, commented it's difficult to make tough decisions, especially in front of people.

"Being a public official - there's nothing easy about that," he added.

The 19-member Delta Force meets monthly to learn about and experience different aspects of the community so they can become more involved citizens and leaders. The group graduates in October when the nine-month program is completed.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,



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