LEESVILLE, La.-- The division one winner of the inaugural Mayor for a Day contest, 9-year old Kushal Upadhyay, took the reins as Mayor February 8, 2016 during a regular City Council meeting and proclaimed February 9, 2016 as "Recycle Day" for the City of Leesville.
The Faith Training Christian Academy 4th grader had a day of firsts, while also taking part in many day-to-day decisions the Mayor has to make. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Upadhyay of Leesville and has two sisters, Kriti, 23, and Kripa, 21.
He also presented his ideas concerning litter and beautification during the regular session of the Leesville City Council.
"I wanted to add more trees to Leesville, keep Leesville clean, add more trash cans, and more no smoking areas to the City," he said, explaining his poster that depicts a litter-free Leesville.
Mayor Upadhyay began his day in a MayFest preparation meeting with Mayor Rick Allen, John Crook and Marci Cook of the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission. Be on the lookout for new additions to this award-winning festival.
After the MayFest meeting, Mayor Upadhyay travelled to the Leesville Municipal Golf Course, where he toured the facility, rode in a golf cart for the first time, learned to swing a golf club, and received merchandise from the pro shop. The golf course regulars greeted Upadhyay at one of the holes with hand shakes.
Mayor Upadhyay was also treated to a lunch with Mayor Allen at Hana Japanese Steakhouse. After lunch he practiced his presentation for the council meeting before heading over to the Leesville Fire Station. While at the Fire Station, he rode in a fire truck, tried on gear, toured the station, and received a goodie bag.
Each Mayor for a Day division winner also rode with Mayor Rick Allen and City Councilman Chris Robertson in the Mardi Gras Parade on February 6, 2016.
Jayden Cortez, a Vernon Middle School 6th grader and division two winner, will be Mayor for a Day February 22, 2016. Cortez wants to spend his day as Mayor by raising awareness of hunger in the City of Leesville. Prior to being mayor he is holding a canned food drive at his school to benefit a local food pantry.
Terrell Newman, a 10th grade student at Faith Training Christian Academy and division three winner, will be Mayor for a Day March 14, 2016. Newman wants to spend his day as Mayor encouraging the citizens of Leesville to "back the badge" by supporting local police officers. He will be proclaiming March 15, 2016 as "Back the Badge" day, and is encouraging residents to wear blue that day to show their support for local law enforcement officers.
The Mayor for a Day program was created by Mayor Rick Allen to promote involvement from young people in city activities and to educate students about local government policy and procedure. Applications were accepted from October 2015 to December 28, 2015. Students competed in three divisions: Division I students in grades 3-5 created a poster; Division II students in grades 6-8 wrote an essay; and Division III students in grades 9-12 created a Powerpoint presentation. Students were required to begin their projects with the phrase "If I were Mayor for a Day...".
For pictures of Upadhyay as acting Mayor click here.
For more information about the Mayor for a Day competition, or to learn more about next year's contest call Caitlin Chelette at 238-2284 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.