by Lisa Tome
In the mind of a fourth grader, Rising Sun Mayor Travis Marion earns $50,000 or more per year and has celebrity status worthy of a request for his autograph.
The reality for the mayor recently was an early morning stop at town hall to sign some papers.
That was followed by sweltering in a wool suit while sitting through an hour long Memorial Day assembly, a stop at field day at Rising Sun Elementary, and presenting the "If I Were Mayor" contest requirements to 53 fourth graders in Conowingo.
"I take personal time or vacation time to be here. And I'm not getting paid for any of it," said Marion, who works at a bank in Delaware.
He asked the children to offer up how much they thinks he earns as mayor. One child said $4,000 per month. Other offerings were $50,000 per year, $50,000 per month, $70,000 per year, and $100 per week. They were disappointed when he told them he takes in $20 per meeting. "I don't get paid much. But I get a chance to be the change and that's priceless," said Marion.
The mayor explained to the children how he got involved in government.
He said he ran for commissioner "on a whim" and won. And then later ran for mayor, also "on a whim" and was uncontested.
He told the children that while serving as a commissioner, his greatest accomplishments were the completion of Triangle Dog Park and replacement of playground equipment in the town’s Veterans Park.
"The mayor's job is to promote the community. But we have tough decisions to make like raising taxes or applying for grants," said Marion.