ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- Running Marshall County's largest populated city isn't the easiest task in the world, and Thursday it fell into the hands of an eight-year-old. Well, kind of.
Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea leaned over his desk peering at a piece of paper. He pointed some things out to a young man with a powerful personality who commandeered his chair.
"This is economic development," Honea explained, pointing to the paper. That was met with a slew of questions from newly turned 8-year-old Landen Bearden. Thursday was his birthday. "I'm being mayor for the day," he explained. His grandmother won the opportunity at a fundraising auction for Marshall Christian School. It just so happened that Landen could take office on his birthday.
So - Mayor Honea relinquished his seat for the day and showed Landen the ins and outs of his job, complete with a tour of some of the city's departments.
One of the first stops was Albertville Fire and Rescue, where the chief, assistant chief, and some of the firefighters showed Mayor Landen around.
After looking into the numerous facets of the fire department, across the street they went to the police department. The chief gave a tour of the workings there, including an introduction to one of the officers and his K-9.
"Going through this experience today, hopefully this is something that he can take with him for a long time and remember, and who knows, maybe one of these days he might want to come back and be the mayor," Honea said.
Back at the office at City Hall, Mayor Honea showed Mayor Landen the layout for the new rec center and discussed the different departments with him, answering every question his curious mind came up with.
Who knows? Maybe a few birthdays from now he'll be sitting in that chair for good.