First, Government day was one of my favorite days so far, and not just because we got to put on firefighter gear, play with a firehose, and climb a 100 foot fire ladder, although that was pretty swell. I think it was because we got to learn about some of the most important and difficult jobs that go on behind the scenes in our great community. It made me realize how well we/they work together in Napa, and while we are not perfect, we are very fortunate to have such great collaboration and respect for one another. Maybe it is because we are a small(er) town, or because we have quality leadership, but I also think it’s the people that want to live and work here. There is a sense of pride and dedication to the community in this beautiful place we call home.
Second, I have to say sitting on (mock) city council was pretty awesome! Being a bit of a political junkie it was really fun to sit front and center rather than work behind the scenes. It gave me a new appreciation for how much time and energy our council members, mayor, and other elected’s spend working on all the varied interests of this city and county. It’s a tedious process at times so they have to be pretty committed and passionate for our community to take it on.
Submitted by Valerie O’Pry, participant Class 32
I feel like every time we have a Leadership Napa Valley day I say it's my favorite, but Government Day really was. I have been excited for this day since the start of the program. In the last couple of years I have felt the urge to run for elected office and this day just solidified that feeling. It was inspiring to get to sit down to lunch with Scott Sedgley and hear about how much he cares about this community and how much he KNOWS about this community. We spent the lunch talking about old Napa haunts and what it really means to be an elected official in a small town. By the end of the lunch my desire to run for office was even stronger than it was before.
My other take away from Government Day was that sometimes the unexpected happens. I was assigned to be on the “pro chicken” team for our mock city council meeting. Going into our strategy session my whole team didn’t believe we had a shot to win it. Once we started to brainstorm some ideas we actually started to think that maybe we could win the council vote. Once we got up and did our piece we knew we had done a great job to convince council that we were in the right! It was a great learning experience that sometimes all it takes is a little teamwork and you can accomplish anything.
Submitted by Jessica Penman, participant Class 32
Government day provided a valuable day for our class to have a unique perspective inside the infrastructure of our County and meet many of the industry leaders across various departments and segments of the County. The camaraderie and respect that these officials have for one another is really unique and a breath of fresh air compared to the news we read in the paper and on television. Touring the Fire Station and the inside look there was a lot of fun.
The simulated Town Council was one of the most enjoyable activities of class. Individuals unique personalities came thru and gave a true real life experience to our group. Government is a very proud topic and it was a very good and informative day.
Submitted by Matt McEvoy, participant Class 32