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Little Lobbyists

December 10, 2012, 10:07 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Little Lobbyists

Whoever came up with the saying, "Boys will be boys," probably was one. Ten-year-olds Mason Helm and Vincent Bormann learned a lesson last week: sometimes you have to speak up if you want to keep what's important to you.

“For Cub Scouts, we went to a city council meeting and they talked about the airplane amendment,” Helm said.

The Sioux Falls Parks Department wanted to make flying remote-controlled airplanes in city parks without a permit illegal. That didn't fly with the two fifth graders.

“Often times, at least, what I think they do is think only about adults,” Vincent Bormann said about the city council.

Both boys stepped up, asking the council to reconsider the rule change. They spoke before the council at two separate meetings in November and December.

“We kind of won, kind of lost because they decided to make the ordinance. But they had an amendment so we could fly our airplanes,” Bormann said.

“They probably did better than I would have talking to the city council,” Bormann’s mother, Nola Bormann, said.

Nola Bormann took the Cub Scouts to the meeting to get their Citizens badge. She's a proud mom and troop leader who says the protest was all the boys’ idea.

“Mason said, 'I'm coming back next week and speaking against it.' He got the ball rolling, so the next meeting he thought he should go up and support Mason's opposition,” Bormann said.

When the vote came up last Tuesday, the Mason/Vincent amendment overwhelmingly passed. It allows kids to fly small remote-controlled aircraft without a permit.

“It's kind of fun to watch them fly and that one like we have takes video. It's cool to see the video,” Helm said.

So on one of the final days before the snowflakes fell, the little lobbyists could play with their favorite toy, permit free.

Thanks to their effort, it’s something every child will be able to continue to do. For these two, it’s rewarding enough. Ask them what they want for a reward and both will tell you one thing: a plane.

“I put it on my Christmas wish list for both my grandparents and mom and dad,” Bormann said.

Hopefully that lobbying will pay off as well as the last effort did. The Cub Scouts did get their Citizens badge for their effort. They will receive badges at the next meeting.

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