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Worcester Prep student wins regional ‘If I Were Mayor’ prize

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams watches during a Town Council meeting on Monday as Michael Hebert, a fourth grade student at Worcester Preparatory School, reads his winning “If I Were Mayor” contest essay.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 17, 2018) Incumbent Berlin Mayor Gee Williams may have some stiff competition in the 2028 election.

Williams, during a Town Council meeting on Monday, reported that a fourth grade student at Worcester Preparatory School, Michael Hebert, won the regional “If I Were Mayor” contest.

The Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association oversee the annual competition for Maryland fourth graders. Williams said it was only the second time in 12 years a Berliner won the regional prize.

“One of the most pleasurable things I’m privileged to do as a mayor is to speak to students from a variety of ages and grades throughout the year,” Williams said. “The ‘If I Were Mayor I Would’ contest … gives me an opportunity to not only talk to the students, but hear what’s on their mind. And I have to say every time I do that, usually it’s in late February to early March, I come away reenergized.

“I’m always impressed with the insightfulness, the thought, [and] the caring that such young people have, and it gives me a great deal of optimism about our future, not only as a community, but as a country,” he added.

Williams delivered a Town Council proclamation honoring Hebert’s accomplishment.

“It goes without saying that not only the mayor and council, but the citizens of Berlin are so very proud of you. And I think this is a great opportunity to realize that you’re never too young to lead by example,” Williams said.

Hebert read his prize-winning essay to a capacity crowd in the council chambers.

“If I were mayor, I would improve my town by fixing the roads and sidewalks, so people don’t crash or trip. I would close the roads and sidewalks, so public works could fix them safely. I’m doing this, because I see people getting in car accidents and tripping on cracked sidewalks.

“I would get this paid for by hosting fundraisers by the grocery store and other popular places in town. I would get involved by asking my brother to draw banners and posters, who will also make flyers and put them around the town.

“I will ask my marketing team to get in touch with the newspaper and put in a segment saying, ‘Help wanted: Public works, please come fix the roads and sidewalks. Too many people are crashing and tripping. Please come out and help improve the town.’ Also, we would put an advertisement on the back of an airplane and have it fly around the town.

“Finally, we would have a commercial about asking people to come and volunteer. Volunteers would receive a free lunch with the mayor, or a tour of the mayor’s office.

“I would let people know of our achievement by making posters that said, ‘We did it! Thank you so much for your help in fixing the roads and sidewalks. Roads and sidewalks are now open.’

“We would also put our accomplishment in the newspaper and post it on social media. We would get in a van with speakers playing a song that is saying, ‘Sidewalks are finished and you can drive and walk on them now.’

“We would have a public celebration.”