Area Boys Staters find careers ‘fulfilling’

For two local delegates to American Legion Buckeye Boys State who were unable to get the jobs they
originally hoped for, their unexpected new careers have still been fulfilling.
Samual Johnson of Weston Township wanted to be a county or city engineer. But once he arrived in Baker
City on Saturday, he switched to running for city council, with a little push from his political party.
Johnson also found out that he’d have to wait until a mayor was elected before he could seek to be
appointed as the city engineer.
"It’s pretty good, too," he said of being a councilman. "We are basically in charge of
making sure people can do stuff."
Johnson said the city is given two "problems" each day to solve. For example, one problem on
Wednesday was that the metal cemetery plaques of veterans were being stolen, possibly to be smelted and
sold for their copper value. Johnson said city council approved a law that the privately-owned cemetery
was to have a fence built around it with a locking gate, and the city police were to patrol the area.
They also told companies that purchase metal to get a copy of the identification of people who brought
in metal in case they needed to be questioned later.
So successful were Johnson and his city in solving their problems on Wednesday that they received a
coveted honor flag at the evening assembly to recognize their work.
"It’s been terrific," he said. "I had no idea it’d be like this."
Johnson’s twin, Timothy, had hoped to have a Boys State career in law enforcement, either as a highway
patrol trooper or county sheriff. When he wasn’t chosen as a trooper, Johnson was appointed by his mayor
in Copeland City to be its safety and security director.
"I looked at the booklet. I’m supposed to be the executive of fire and the police chief, second most
important to the mayor," he said. One of his duties is to ask city council to pass laws for the
safety of people in the city’s parks.
Because the city’s parks and recreation created a bear farm, Johnson said he was going to request a law
setting a 100-yard restriction limit on it "so no one gets hurt, and you can’t feed them. Even
though it’s a ridiculous situation, I still have to come up with real laws for it."
Johnson described his job as "pretty good," once he got beyond missing out as a trooper and
campaigning for a mayoral candidate who didn’t win.
Two Wood County delegates did fulfill their career hopes at Boys State. Tyler Chamberlain, of rural
Wayne, who has an interest in accounting, campaigned for city auditor of Jensen City and won.
Chamberlain and the city treasurer work together, studying the city’s budget, doing payroll and attending
city council meetings. "It helps out a lot to work together and figure out questions we’ve got. We
don’t always have to go to the counselors."
"It’s just what I’d hoped it would be," Chamberlain said. "There’s a lot of work. We deal
with a lot of people. … I think it’s been great. We’ve learned a lot, and our city is really
close."
Jonathan Elder of Perrysburg had hoped to run for either state attorney general or associate justice of
the Supreme Court. He campaigned for associate justice, gaining his party’s primary and going on to win
in the general election.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard three mock trial cases. The justices are advised by a retired Court
of Appeals judge whose help, Elder said, is "very exceptional."
Boys State has been "more than I expected. I thought it’d be a crash course in government, but it’s
turned out to be much more than that. …It’s been extraordinary."