Emma Knowles speaks at a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Sept. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Emma Knowles speaks at a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Sept. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna student connects youth to city council

Emma Knowles is the new student representative to the Soldotna City Council.

Emma Knowles is the new student representative to the Soldotna City Council. She’s a junior at Soldotna High School and acts as a liaison between the city government in Soldotna and the student government at Soldotna High School.

The city council’s Sept. 22 meeting was Knowles’ second; she was sworn in on Sept. 8 and said Thursday that — so far — things haven’t gone the way she expected.

“It’s definitely not what I thought,” she said.

For one, the people are nicer and the meetings aren’t as contentious, she said. Knowles said she isn’t sure what she wants to do after high school, but that sitting on the council is a “cool way to get into government.”

A recent issue that took her by surprise, for example, was the repair of faulty city fire hydrants. Knowles said she didn’t even know there was anything wrong with them. Generally, she said she hopes her time on the council will reveal what she called “the ins and outs” of how the city operates.

“I’m interested in being involved in city government in the future, and becoming the student representative would be a wonderful opportunity,” Knowles wrote in her application for the seat.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Soldotna City Clerk Shellie Saner (right) swears in Emma Knowles on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Clerk Shellie Saner (right) swears in Emma Knowles on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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