Sara Stringfellow, an English secondary education major at Lock Haven, is running for City Council. I sat down with her this week to ask about her experience in politics, and her goals for the future.
Sara has been part of the City Council since last May and is running for reelection in the 2015 general election which will take place Nov. 3. Students that have a permanent address in Clinton County are encouraged to vote.
Voting will take place from 7am until 8pm. Students can visit clintoncountypa.com or call 570.893.4019 to find out where they can cast their ballots.
JH-Can you tell me a little about the title that you are running for? What are the responsibilities of the City Council?
SS- “The council consists of 7 people including the mayor and functions as the voice for the city. They make the decisions for what happens and grant permission for events to take place. Council also votes on important matters such as how to spend money that we receive to fix things in the city.”
JH- How did you get involved in politics? What is important to you about this seat?
SS- “I have lived with my aunt and uncle, Marie and Rick Vilello, since I have been 8 years old. My uncle is the former Mayor of Lock Haven. He served the community for 16 years. My aunt is the current Clinton County Prothonotary. She has been serving the county for 4 years. Politics is something I grew up with, it has always been a part of my life and it’s something that, like my family, I found an interest in as well. I’ve learned from my aunt and uncle that you have to be the change you want to see. So politics is something I’m getting into so that I have a voice in the changes for the future of our community.”
JH- What will you bring to the community if you win?
SS- “If I win, I really want to work on the relationship the city and the university have. Being a university student and serving on council at the same time gives me a different view than most people have. I see all the wonderful things that the city has to offer and I also see the great things that the university has to offer. By forming a closer working relationship between the city and the university I believe it would provide many more opportunities for every citizen in the community. I really want to see more college kids and just young people in general get more involved in the community. By forming a better relationship I think it will be easier to get them involved and give them a desire to be a part of the community that they are living in.”
JH-What is the importance of having young people involved in local government?
SS- “It is so important for young people to be involved in local government. Young people are the voices of tomorrow. The decisions that the city make today are going to affect all the young people that are growing up in this community in the future. The average citizen of Lock Haven is a single female, age about 22. That includes most of the college kids living in Lock Haven. When you live in a community that has those kinds of statistics, those young people should be voicing their opinions on what happens in their community. Young people have different ideas and perspectives on issues than older people do. However, if young people do not step up and let their ideas be heard then they are never recognized. Young people need to make more of an initiative to become involved in their local government because as young people we are the future of our community and the future should reflect our ideas.”
JH- What is the campaigning process like?
SS- “The campaigning process is definitely an interesting journey. My campaign process has consisted of buying signs and buttons to promote my candidacy. Besides promoting myself through signs and buttons, I have also had to attend many events where I have been asked to speak about myself and why I want to be on city council. It has been a true learning experience.”