Sometimes good ideas can transcend administration changes. And Palmetto Bay’s ‘Mayor for the Day’ celebration is a shining example. At the invitation of Mayor Karyn Cunningham, 7-year old Dominic Hetenyi nearly floated into Village Hall wearing a neat blue striped tie and a pressed white Oxford. His excitement was palpable.
“I’m feeling like I’m going to explode inside,” exclaimed Dominic. “I can’t wait because this is the best part of my day…EVER! It is 200% better than my trips to Disneyworld and I am honored to be here. I plan on being as great a Mayor as the public wants me to.” If he sounds precocious, it’s because he most certainly is. “I like to talk, like non-stop, and I hope I get to do a lot of that today because I’m good at it.”
The program is also important and heartwarming to the Village Mayor. “It means bringing children in so they can have the opportunity to see how government works and to help the Council see what’s important to our youth,” explained Mayor Cunningham. “We hope Dominic will take home that this is serious business and he’ll learn to listen because good listeners make good policymakers.”
After sitting in the Mayor’s office and making the desk his own, Dominic was toured through a typical day’s work. Dominic visited with several Village departments to learn about the services they provide for the community. He also joined the Mayor in resident meetings and participated in the budget workshop from the dais. His questions were fresh, yet intelligent.
When given the mic at the budget workshop where he sat alongside the full Council on the dais, Dominic said, “I’d like to get money on the budget for charity and healthcare. I’d like to raise money to get kids to be happy.” In response Councilman Singer said he was offering Dominic a job to find good charities to give money away. In response, Mayor Cunningham said that he works for lollipops and Dominic added, “You have to give me $5 and a lollipop.” Out of the mouths of babes!
Dominic is the son of Ainsley and Marcell Hetenyi. He proves you're never too young to put the needs of others before yourself. Father Marcell is a CPA at Scheckner and Hetenyi who lives and works in Palmetto Bay.
Here is an excerpt of Dominic’s speech from the dais.
For the full version go to 52:19 at http://palmettobay.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1262