Perry teen shares bright ideas for improving hometown

Cadence Hurley, 13, of Perry, left, met Friday morning with Perry Mayor John Andorf, center, and Perry Public Works Director Jack Butler to discuss ways to improve Perry.

When school lets out for summer, young people are naturally tempted to spend their free time playing video games or toying with Snapchat or, if outdoorsy, skateboarding or playing sports.

Cadence Hurley, 13, of Perry enjoys these pastimes as much as any going-into-eighth grader, but she also has plans for spending her summer improving things in Perry. She met Friday morning with city leaders to discuss ways of making life better in her hometown.

Perry Mayor John Andorf and Perry Public Works Director Jack Butler were happy to sit down with Hurley — and her mother, Nancy Fessler, and 10-year-old sister Chloe — at the Perry City Hall and hear her bright ideas, which ranged from fixing some of Perry’s cracked and broken street pavement to cleaning up the parks and other public ways.

“One thing I think we need is handicap-accessible sidewalks,” Hurley told the mayor and public works director. “There’s lots of places where there aren’t even regular sidewalks.”

Andorf took notes as Hurley reeled off possible improvements. Cleanliness was also key, and she said she would happily volunteer to tidy up around the Perry City Hall, McCreary Community Building or Perry Public Library.

Asked about how the city might go about financing improvements, Hurley was again prompt with ideas.

“We could have garage sales,” she said, “and bake sales and a lemonade stand and a car wash.”

Speaking after the morning meeting, Andorf and Butler agreed that Perry’s future looks promising if it is in the hands of such thoughtful, poised and proactive residents as young Ms. Hurley, who is truly a Bluejay Leader.


  1. Hooray for Ms. Hurley! It is truly refreshing to see young people “step up to the plate” and take responsible leadership to contribute to the community. Too many times our young citizens get a bad rap. With a little guidance to get started, who knows what can be accomplished?


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