For rookies, they got an awful lot right.


Two dozen seniors from five different high schools in Hesperia converged on Hesperia City Hall Thursday morning, as part of the City of Hesperia's third annual Youth in Government Day.


They met the heads of various departments, shadowed city employees and ate pizza, but the highlight of the day was a city council meeting with an all-high school council and city staff.


The council took up a variety of thorny issues, including considering the mandatory spaying or neutering of stray dogs before they're returned to their owners, increasing the fines for those found guilty of creating graffiti and a daytime curfew for residents under 18 years old.


Like the real Hesperia City Council, some members of the mock council had trouble with the city's electronic voting system and others tripped over some of the names of members of the public wishing to speak before the council.


"I happen to have my own small puppy dog and I'm constantly worried about her," Sultana High School senior Jessica Smith told the council, representing a concerned member of the public, "Because, you know, I'm worried that other dogs might attack her."


"I think graffiti and vandalism is just heinous," said Councilwoman Katheryn Hill, another Sultana senior. "I don't think the city should have to pay for it."


"As a father of four myself, it makes me feel good my children will be in school and not on the street with hoodlums," said Principal Planner, and Hesperia High School senior, Joaquin Valdez, of a proposed daytime curfew that would keep residents under 18 years old off the street between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.


"As a father of nine," said councilman and Hesperia senior Sagar Patel, "I agree with this myself."


In the end, even the daytime curfew got unanimous 5-0 support from the mock city council, making the Hesperia where Hesperia High senior Adam Estrada is mayor more restrictive on teenagers than the real Hesperia.


At the conclusion of the meeting, Hesperia's real mayor, Thurston "Smitty" Smith tried to convert the day at city hall into something more, distributing sign-up sheets to volunteer for various city council advisory committees.


The next meeting of the real Hesperia City Council will take place on February 3 at 6:30 p.m. at 9700 7th Avenue.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.