It’s National County Government Week, and leaders around Iowa are getting kids into the act. The Boone High School Career Fair’s going on today and landfill administrator Scott Smith will be there with ways to make government interesting to high-schoolers. They have county engineers, construction projects, Geographic Information Systems used for planning and zoning, jobs the kids may only expect to find in the private sector. They can use the GIS system to find a satellite photo of their own house, and in a mock election ballots are made with names of music and movie stars they can choose for “relatively uninteresting” county positions and cast those ballots in a real voting booth. Smith points out the high schoolers are nearing voting age, and can use the practice in how to vote. Smith says his own background is in environmental protection, and he finds his job running the multi-county landfill satisfying. He says they don’t think of it as a dump, but as a way to handle items nobody wants and dispose of them safely while protecting public health, a goal that lets him work in an environmental field and see that he’s making a difference. The theme of this year’s county government day is “Counties Care for Kids,” and activities include grade-schoolers touring the Grundy County courthouse.
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