- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

LASALLE, Ill. (AP) - Mayor Jeff Grove explained La Salle government recently to 16 students in Jaicyln Brown’s eighth-grade American history class at Trinity Catholic Academy.

“What are you studying this year?” Grove asked.

The class has looked at local churches and duties of the coroner, a student said.

“We finished the U.S. Constitution,” Brown said. “Everyone passed the test. We’re learning the Illinois Constitution next week.”

Grove said local government reflects some of state and national government.



“It’s a big thing that we will have a new Supreme Court justice to interpret the Constitution,” Grove said, referring to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13.

Grove explained the city’s four wards, eight aldermen, elections and city staff.

“We don’t have any elections this coming April but we have elections next coming April,” he said. “That’s why it’s important to vote.”

Grove casts votes to break 4-4 ties on the city council, he said. Brown told the class this mirrors the Supreme Court, where the chief justice breaks tie votes. City officials do not declare parties such as Democrat and Republican, Grove said.

“I think at this level it’s not that big of an issue for us,” he said.

Economic development is important, Grove said.

“We actually are competing with a lot of other different communities to get businesses to come here,” Grove said.

He talked about cities sharing resources, such as La Salle-Peru Township High School.

“Our police departments work real well together if there is an issue,” Grove said. “Our fire departments work real well together if there is an issue.”

Local cities are developing a common emergency dispatch center, he said.

The kids took a break for doughnuts, and Grove handed out swimming pool passes. The students talked about Thursday’s Republican presidential debate. “My mom made me watch it” and “Donald Trump is real mean” were among the comments.

“It’s good you guys are following along,” Grove said.

Grove took questions.

“How is your day?” asked Thomas Sanchez.

Grove said it was hectic when first elected seven years ago but he got help from outgoing Mayor Art Washkowiak. Meetings and public talks are part of his day. He read books to students at Northwest Elementary School and spoke to L-P basketball players, Grove said.

“What’s the most stressful part of having your job?” Bella Carey asked.

“It’s never fun when you can’t help somebody out,” Grove said. “Sometimes you have a hard decision and you have to say ‘no.’”

“Do you think you’ll run for mayor again?” said Anna Quesse.

“I’m going to keep going until the residents of La Salle say, ‘You’re done, Jeff Grove,’” he said.

“What is favorite part about being mayor?” Colton Yanish asked.

“When someone says, ‘hey, Jeff and the city council, you guys are doing a great job.’”

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Source: (LaSalle) News-Tribune, https://bit.ly/1ZbtNDe

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Information from: News-Tribune, https://www.newstrib.com

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