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Local Government Two 6th Graders, Seven Commissioners and a Promising Future

Eleven year old Tyreke Lee

BRADENTON -- Few people that go before the County Commission are prepared to speak just what they came there to say. The clock's ticking, they're all looking right at you and the cat's bound to get your tongue. That is of course unless you are Tyreke Lee, from Palm View Elementary, headed for the 6th grade and on a mission. He set a new standard for composure and poise with a purpose, and he got what he came for.   

6th graders Tyreke Lee and his twin brother Tyrell, their cousin Moody Johnson, and the boys' grandfather, Reverend W.D. Sims, all showed up Tuesday at the BOCC meeting to give us a civic lesson.  

During Citizen's Comments, Tyreke took over the podium with an eloquent demeanor and an articulate voice of profound clarity. "I want to see some changes," he said, and then pulled out a very defined sketch of the property at the Rubonia Civic Center, placed it on the overview, and described his request for a rebuild.

Moody Johnson, Tyrell Lee, Tyreke Lee and Rev. Sims

With all of the precision of a boardroom presentation, Tyreke amazed the commission and audience alike. He pointed out on his proportionated sketch what was lacking with the baseball field and the play court. He said they only have two computers and asked for more. He spoke to the commission with confidence and respect, the way high-dollar lawyers often do to get what they want, and he did.

At first, commissioners were utterly speechless -- stunned by the way this little man and his brother owned the room. It didn't take long before commissioners promised them all they came there for. Commissioner Gallen called them "proactive," and added, "that's what we need today."

A motion was made for staff to take their drafts and request, and a promise to get back with them with a plan for action was made. The spectacle delivered promise that the much-needed leaders of tomorrow are on their way.


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