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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Jan 19

Youth Visit City Hall to Learn About Local Government

Posted on January 19, 2017 at 8:09 AM by Communications Department

A public service experience for future leaders

Two brothers took time away from their school’s winter break to learn more about local government. Twins Dalen and Delon Winfield expressed theiryouthTour1CCC interests in politics and government from an early age including spending time watching CSPAN and volunteering for elections and other community activities. Before the end of winter break, the City Manager’s Office coordinated a guided tour of Newport News City Hall for the two thirteen-year-olds and their father Dwayne.

The tour included visits to:
• The City Manager's Office where they were given an introduction to the City and the purpose of Council Manager Form of Government in our community.

• The City Clerk’s office which provided an overview of the office and its role working with City Council and handling important documents for the City. Dalen and Delon were briefed on the councilmembers, districts, elections and the various ways residents can serve their community through boards, authorities and commissions.
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• Development where they saw how the City engages with existing and new businesses to diversify the tax base and provide economic opportunities for residents.

• The Planning Department. They learned about the need to create vibrant and safe places for people to work, live and play throughout the city, and the importance of balancing different uses so that land and resources can be enjoyed not only now but in years to come.

• The Budget Department where the boys learned that the city is responsible for over $1 billion each year. Dalen and Delon now know where the money comes from and goes to.

• Council Chambers where the boys learned where policy decisions that affect the over 180,000 residents of Newport News are made by the seven Councilmembers. They enjoyed sitting at the dais and imaging the possibilities of being an elected official.
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• Fire Station 3. The Winfields had the opportunity to have an overview of how fire department business is conducted, the different branches within the organization, the qualifications for employment, as well as salary, benefits, and specialty teams. Dispatch sent a test tone to the alerting system so they could hear how it sounds when a call is dispatched to the station. They viewed the operation of Engine 3 and Ladder 3 and with assistance operated the pre-connect hose line.

 At the end of the tour they were so excited and were contemplating when would be the right time to apply for a position. All of the staff shared stories about their personal paths and passion for public service while encouraging the young men to explore opportunities to serve and improve the quality of life for others by finding a career in local government.