The Transfer of Power… For A Day

Author, Lila Zuck

On May 15, 1953, Naples Mayor W. Roy Smith stepped aside as City Father and handed the gavel over to incoming Naples Mayor Worth DeVore, a member of the Naples High School Senior Class.

Naples City Council,1953.

This transfer of power was an American Government Class exercise.

During which the City’s officials and department heads were replaced for a day by Seniors elected by their classmates to accompany City officials and department heads for a day and learn how efficient teamwork keeps the gears of municipal government well-oiled and its wheels turning smoothly.

L to R: Consulting engineer J.C. Amis, Councilmen L.A. Orick and Don Wynn, City Attorney William D. Hixon, City Clerk Elsie Lehman, Mayor W. Roy Smith, City Manager Fred Lowdermilk, Councilmen C.P. Harris and Claude Storter, and City Attorney Fred Mellor.

Members of the incoming City Council were Naples High Seniors Jim Nebus, June Jolley, Carl Trygstad, and Skip Ozier. Naples City Manager was Jeanette Smith. Chief of Police was David Chirgwin, assisted by Charlene Long and Pat Monahan. Naples City Clerk was Carol Dimick, assisted by Joanne Coleman. Jimmy Dyches was head of Waterworks; Betty Peacock, Bookkeeper; James Rice, City Attorney; and Jessie Allen, Sanitary Officer.

In addition to learning the importance of working together, students gained awareness of the specific qualifications of their assigned jobs.

The hands-on method of comparing textbook teachings to the actual running of a municipal government ended at 8 pm, when a Special City Council meeting open to the public was held.