He was 'Mr. Mayor' for a day

While many residents were at work on Tuesday, or otherwise absorbed in their lives, there was a new mayor in town.

There was no special election, but there was an officially signed proclamation declaring Celby Ryan the Mayor for a Day.

A second-grader in Gay Fritz's classroom, Celby came prepared with a list of items to tackle.

In between stops touring various facilities within the village, such as the police station, the parks and recreation department and the water treatment plant, Celby had time to offer input on a needed addition during an impromptu news conference at the water plant.

"A village mascot," he said. "The spinosaurus, which is the biggest land predator, but with tiny legs."

Since his term was only one day in length, Celby knew not to delay.

"This is my only chance to teach about spinosauruses," he said.

Though they existed long before the 7-year-old was born, Celby has become something of an authority on them and other pre-historic dinosaurs.

His toy box has about 2,000 of the creatures in various shapes and sizes, and he knows when they used to roam the land.

"Before the T-Rex," Celby said.

Getting the keys to the city was a nice gesture, he decided, but Celby has bigger plans in the days ahead.

"To conquer the world in general," he said. "Find dinosaurs and resurrect them, but my main step is to conquer the world."

Asked how he came to be Mayor for a Day, Celby brought the room to laughter.

"An election," he said.

"An auction," his mother, Casey Ryan, corrected.

That story in itself provided a funny twist.

At the Mahomet Area Youth Club Auction in the spring, Casey Ryan was bidding for the Mayor for a Day package because, "I knew he would like it."

She had some competition and discovered — eventually — that "my husband and I were both bidding against each other."

Casey Ryan was OK with the inflated result.

"It was all for a good cause," she said.

Meanwhile, the person who is Mahomet's mayor the other 364 days a year didn't mind temporarily relinquishing his title.

"It's a day off," Sean Widener said. "This is awesome."

Celby Ryan had a special hat for the occasion — somewhat resembling something Abraham Lincoln might have worn — and was dressed in a white shirt and tie.

He had a reason for selecting the Star Wars tie he wore, loosely knotted

"It's the only tie I have," Celby Ryan said.

His entourage for the day included his mother. Her role wasn't one that would be receiving credit.

"It's a thankless job," Casey Ryan said.

Celby Ryan recognized he wouldn't get to accomplish every goal on his to-do list.

"You can't do everything," he said, "especially tame Godzilla."

As Celby Ryan prepared to move on to another stop — one which he hoped would get him closer to break time at Yo Yo's Frozen Yogurt — he said he did indeed have some final words of wisdom.

"Don't work too hard," Celby said as he headed for the door, apparently not taking his own advice.

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