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Photos: Two Squamish students chosen as mayor and deputy mayor for the day

Virginia Williams and Koen Tocheniuk display their political acumen as Mayor Karen Elliott turns over the reins of the municipality to the pair.

Squamish's elected officials are taking a break and leaving the town in good hands today.

Two students are in charge of the municipality today.

On May 18, Virginia Williams, a Grade 6 student from  ​​École Squamish Elementary, was chosen to serve as mayor for a day.

A Grade 3 student from Squamish Waldorf School, Koen Tocheniuk, serves as deputy mayor.

As their first act, the pair signed a proclamation declaring May 16 to 20 as Public Works Week.

Both officials had ideas on how they'd like to run the town.

Williams said that one of her ideas was to encourage rooftop planters in the community.

This would help reduce the town's carbon footprint, while also helping save a few bucks on groceries, which are subject to rising inflation costs. 

"It will help suck up greenhouse gas emissions, because there are a lot more buildings being built and people moving here," said Williams. "People could also grow their own food, because prices for fruit and stuff [are] very high in grocery stores like right now."

The deputy mayor also had some ideas of his own.

"I would try to make the environment better," said Tocheniuk. "So like, not polluting, and not picking up garbage and not littering. Because it's bad for the environment and caring for the animals and stuff. So like not like leaving our garbage cans open for the bears to get food from it because it's bad for them."

Winners of the annual Mayor for a Day event will be able to talk politics and everything in between with Mayor Karen Elliott and acting mayor Jenna Stoner.

They'll also get an inside look at District of Squamish facilities, along with a ride in a fire truck and visit to the RCMP Detachment.  

To top off a full day, the winners' class will receive a pizza party for lunch to share with their classmates at school.

The District received about 100 entries to be mayor this year, including everything from videos to posters, songs and more, Elliott said. 

The Mayor for a Day contest is held annually during Local Government Awareness Week, which is marked by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and other municipalities across B.C.