GRAYLING, MICH. - Sometimes in politics, a politician can be grilled by investigators, other politicians or a news reporter.
In Gov. Rick Snyder's case Monday, Sept. 19, he was asked some tough questions by three 4th-grade students.
As part of the "Rising Tide" program, Snyder came to Grayling to hear concerns from local leaders in the small town what can be done to help make the community stronger.
Three students from Grayling Elementary, Mason Palmer, Gwennie Ellis and Cadence Rasmussen took center stage at the end of the meeting to discuss their goals for their community.
The students asked for playground equipment that "doesn't get hot," a new water park, the use of a new community center and, finally, they asked Snyder if he could help the community bring a Chuck E. Cheese's franchise to town.
The nearest Chuck E. Cheese's location, according to the pizza chain's web site, is 89 miles away from Grayling in Saginaw. Grayling has a population of 1,884 at the 2010 census.
When asked about the requests after the meeting, Snyder said he was happy to have the input.
"They brought ideas, isn't that fabulous?" Snyder said. "We're here to help the next generation say how can they stay here and have a good quality of life."
The students, called the "Little Vikes" from Grayling Elementary, also told the community leaders they like the feeling of safety and dislike the limited shopping options and lack of services like beaches and swimming lessons.
Gov. Snyder has held meetings at most of the rural "rising tide" communities to listen to local leaders to try to partner with them to enhance opportunities in rural locations across the state.
Communities were chosen based on a series of economic factors including unemployment rates, poverty levels and labor participation rates. One community in each of the state’s 10 prosperity regions was selected for the program.
The other cities are:
•Region 1 – Newberry
•Region 2 – Central Lake
•Region 3 – Grayling
•Region 4 – Evart
•Region 5 – Harrison
•Region 6 – Sandusky
•Region 7 – Charlotte
•Region 8 – Paw Paw
•Region 9 – Hillsdale
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