Audrey Love

Charles Monger, a ninth-grade student at Elgin High School, won the second place prize for his digital media presentation in the Oregon Mayors Association’s annual “If I Were Mayor, I Would...” statewide contest.

Monger’s slideshow presentation detailed his plans to provide the city with more entertainment — using some of the city’s existing venues, such as the Opera House or community center, to double as sites for a haunted house, carnival or other community-wide event. Monger believes that by providing the city with more opportunities for entertainment, residents wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere to meet that need.

“I was very excited to know I’d won,” Monger said. “I’d tried (the contest) three times in middle school — sixth, seventh and eighth grade — and I finally won.”

The Oregon Mayors Association, a voluntary group of persons who hold the office of mayor, sponsors the annual contest open to grades four through 12. During his term as mayor of Elgin, Allan Duffy has encouraged the city to participate in the contest the past three years.

“It’s a program that (had) never been initiated in Elgin, but through the Oregon Mayors Association I got the program started here,” Duffy said. “It’s been great to go through the (submissions) and look at their ideas and what (they think) the responsibility of the mayor is.”

Students compete in three age groups using different media to describe what it would mean to them if they were mayor of their city. Fourth and fifth grades submit posters, sixth through eighth grades write essays and ninth through 12th grades create a multimedia presentation one to three minutes in length, such as a short video or PowerPoint presentation.

See more in Monday's edition of The Observer.