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Members of all-girl Boy Scout Troop question Marysville City Council

Scout Makayla Farrer, left, gets advice on what to ask members of the Marysville City Council from fellow Scouts Aleena Goff and Ariana Hernandez at the council's Sept. 23 meeting. The girls are all 11 years old. - Jim Bloch

The scouts are working on communications merit badge

By Jim Bloch

Three members of an all-girl Boy Scout troop based in St. Clair attended a recent Marysville City Council meeting to work on their communication merit badges.

After an uncharacteristically short council meeting, Mayor Dan Damman invited the girls to ask any member of the city council a question of their choice, such as when is the mayor’s birthday.

It’s Nov. 28 — but no one asked him.

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The girls represented Scouts BSA Troop 351.

Marysville Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman fielding Ariana Hernandez’s question about her responsibilities. – Jim Bloch

Scouts BSA is the Boy Scouts’ new name, intended to be more welcoming to boys and girls, following the January decision of the Boy Scouts to open its ranks to girls, ages 11-17.

The regular meeting of the city council was held Sept. 23.

Ariana Hernandez, 11, stepped behind the podium in the Joseph S. Johns Council Chambers and studied the name plaque of Kathy Hayman. Hernandez took a few steps toward Hayman, squinting at the plaque.

“What do you do as Mayor Pro Tem?” asked Hernandez, slowly pronouncing Hayman’s title.

“I cover for Mayor Damman if he can’t be at a meeting or event,” said Hayman. “So it’s a fun position.”

Hayman explained the Damman attends nearly all the council meetings and special events, so she has not had a plate full of responsibilities.

“What do you do as Deputy City Clerk?” Aleena Goff, 11, asked Rene Stoia.

“I’m here taking the minutes of the meeting,” said Stoia, clearly surprised to be in the spotlight.

Marysville Deputy City Clerk Rene Stoia. – Jim Bloch

Stoia explained that she manages voter registration and runs the elections in Marysville and organizes the important paperwork of the city.

Makayla Farrer, 11, stood at the podium unable to think of a question. Hernandez and Goff left their seats in the audience to confer with Farrer, but no question was forthcoming.

Mayor Damman let Farrer off the hook.

Damman said that he occasionally visits local classrooms.

“The two questions I get the most are: Do I know the president? (I don’t.) And: How much do I make? (Not very much),” Damman said to laughter. “As far as communications are concerned, I’d like to say that this council is very communicative.”


Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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