THE NEW adviser on children's affairs to the mayor of Rehovot ran down the corridor of the municipality in his sneakers, making faces. He couldn't understand the media attention. But the children of Rehovot in central Israel couldn't have found a better-qualified person to represent them. Nine-year-old Nadav Tiktin is into his first week on the job.
The boy wrote to the mayor after meeting him at his school, saying that the children in the town needed a representative who understood their needs.
He said he would go round town checking that children have enough safe playgrounds, including paths for bicycles and spaces for in-line skating.
Since an adviser has to work for money, Nadav suggested a payment of 20 shekels (pound;3) a year, half now, the res if he succeeds.
Joshua Forer, the mayor, accepted the proposal and the boy is on a four-month trial period.
Children and adults can write to Nadav via the Internet or send a letter to his post-office box about their concerns. His job is to bring them to the attention of the mayor and suggest ways of solving them.
Nadav, who is already "99 per cent sure that I want to be a scientist", described improvements that are needed in a local park. He wants to build a giant draughts board, remove a fallen tree trunk, build pavements, install benches, lamps, exercise bars and a playground.
Mr Forer said: "It was the boy's idea. It's a bit of a gimmick, but nice that he had the initiative. If he's worth it, I'll raise his salary after the trial period."