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Newport mayor talks to 2nd-graders about the appeal, and challenges, of government

Newport mayor talks to 2nd-graders about the appeal, and challenges, of government
Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon is escorted to a classroom by Luca Vaccaro, left, and Mimi Omelveny at Our Lady Queen of Angels School on Wednesday. Muldoon talked to second-graders about what it's like to be in government. (Scott Smeltzer | Daily Pilot)

Every mayor was a second-grader once.

So maybe a future mayor of Newport Beach sits among the children at Our Lady Queen of Angels School.

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For now, though, the current mayor will go to them.

Mayor Kevin Muldoon stopped by the Newport Beach Catholic school Wednesday as a highlight of students' second-grade civics lessons.

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They had already learned much. Two classes huddled around Muldoon, listing the three branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — and the ideals that good leaders promote and protect, such as equality, justice and freedom. Those were big words and big concepts coming from little voices.

Muldoon gave them life tips — be a good neighbor, be respectful. But be competitive and work hard to reach your goals.

Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon speaks to a roomful of second-graders Wednesday at Our Lady Queen of Angels School, taking plenty of questions from the inquisitive kids.
Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon speaks to a roomful of second-graders Wednesday at Our Lady Queen of Angels School, taking plenty of questions from the inquisitive kids. (Scott Smeltzer | Daily Pilot)

Mostly, the students grilled him about what it's like to help run a city. Some questions were soft and shy; some were asked through a giggle.

Is being mayor hard? (It can be, he said.)

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What's the hardest part? (Being considerate of everybody's views and needs; there's a lot to weigh.)

What's your daily schedule? (An astute observer noticed Muldoon's two cellphones so figured he must be pretty busy.)

Do you get a break on weekends? (Usually.)

How did you get to be mayor? (First he had to campaign for and win a spot on the City Council. Then he had to be chosen by other council members to be mayor pro tem and finally mayor.)

Also, his favorite colors are blue and black, and no, he doesn't ride around in a limousine, though he does get to be part of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon gave second-graders at Our Lady Queen of Angels School some life tips Wednesday and told them what it's like to be mayor.
Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon gave second-graders at Our Lady Queen of Angels School some life tips Wednesday and told them what it's like to be mayor. (Scott Smeltzer | Daily Pilot)

Then things got philosophical.

What made you want to be mayor? ("I guess I'm an idealistic person and I believe in the traditional American values of our Constitution," he said.)

Things got frank.

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The most frustrating part of being mayor, he told one girl, is tackling the city's debts. "It's like having a lot of bills."

Mia Games, a second-grader at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in Newport Beach, asks Mayor Kevin Muldoon a question during his visit Wednesday.
Mia Games, a second-grader at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in Newport Beach, asks Mayor Kevin Muldoon a question during his visit Wednesday. (Scott Smeltzer | Daily Pilot)

"How much do you like being mayor?" asked a boy named Vance.

"I like it a lot," Muldoon replied.

"Like, high?" Vance pressed eagerly as he swung his legs, his striped sneakers not quite touching the floor.

Vance might have a grand plan brewing, because a few minutes later, he raised his hand again.

"If I run for mayor, will you vote for me?"

"What if we make an alliance?" Muldoon answered. "You vote for me and I vote for you later?"

"OK!" Vance said.

After all, every mayor was a second-grader once.

Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD

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