Committee Minutes

Youth Commission Meeting Synopsis
March 28, 2007 - - 11:30 a.m.- - Council Chambers

Present: Kaitlyn Foley, Bailey Altman, Ciaran White, Dakota Noyes, Mitch Rood, Jeremy O’Keefe, AJ Arnold, Sasha Yearwood, Paul Sennie, KD McClaflin, Sam O’Donnell, Mandy Spicer, Nicole Robertson, Cory Loveless, Josh Roberts, Jennifer Erickson, Olivia Simonson, Linsey Tureskis.

Absent: Rachel Gonzalez

The group watched a video that described the Hampton, VA Youth Commission.

The group split for middle school and high school sub-group meetings.

School Reports:

Central – 1) Discussed having an end of the year dance possibly either May 11 or 18.
Admission of $3, except for Seniors would be $1 admission. Maybe use dance as a send off for seniors. Had talked with owner of private bus company and they would be willing to provide some transportation at no charge – three stops 1 each on Base, Northend, Southend. Discussed that ID would be required to attend the dance.
2) Discussed hosting a Back to School BBQ with food, games and activities.
3) Discussed the need to elect officers/facilitator/cabinet to run the monthly meetings.
4) Discussed the high cost of attending a movie at the theatre in town and whether there could be an effort made to meet with the theatre company and see if anything could be done to get a reduced rate for students.

Community - 1) Discussed hosting a Talent Show at Townsquare with a Gong Show format.
Possibly festival style, like artwise with vendor booths, free auditions, Grand
Prize should be bigger so that people are motivated to enter. Maybe have two
contests – 1 for middle school, 1 for high school.

Red River - 1) Discussed that there should be a representative from the Youth Commission at
each City Council meeting.
2) Discussed advertising for the Youth Commission and that the group should develop a logo so that events associated with the Commission are recognizable. The logo could also be used around each school to promote the Commission.
Valley - 1) Discussed holding an open mic night. Posters do not seem to be effective
ways to advertise events and need to brainstorm advertising methods for
2) Feel that it is important for the Commission to elect officers.
3) Discussed the need to brainstorm more activities for teens to do.
4) Discussed that movies are too expensive for most teens to be able to attend and would like to look at ways to make them more affordable.
5) Discussed holding a year end dance.
6) Discussed concerns about the reputation that some have about different schools in town – i.e. “Valley has all the bad kids” – and that these are not true and looking for ways to counter these false impressions.

South - 1) Agree that a dance would be a good year end event. Transportation is an issue
and maybe should look into buses. Agree that posters do not work to promote
events. Discussed that possibly look into getting information on the website or
tied to powerschool as a means to promote the events.
2) In regards to movies, reported that there have been some who have met with the movie theatre, but they say their pricing is set because they are a chain and all controlled by the corporate office.
3) Discussed whether the City could help with development of a “Movie Pass” similar to the bowling pass that is given out that entitles you to one free game per day of the summer and maybe could offer one movie per two week period for the summer months.

Schroeder - 1) Suggested into whether the old Target location at Columbia Mall could be
reopened as a roller rink. It is big enough and would provide something else
for youth to do.
2) Discussed a dance for middle school and look for sponsors to cover the cost of
the event, maybe have food vendors. Require a student ID to attend. Have a security guard on site.

General discussion comments were:

There seems to be a lot of focus on activities for young children, but no focus on activities for youth in their teen years. Even for teens, need different types of activities because the 13-14 age range can’t or sometimes aren’t allowed to work, so not a lot of money and transportation is an issue, but still want to have something to do. For those 15-17, some have jobs, but still what is available is very expensive and can’t do very much.

There is an entrepreneurial youth group that is talking about trying to develop a hang out venue, maybe having basketball courts, place to do homework, hold dances, etc. and maybe the youth commission could help with this.

Discussed the closing of Riverside Pool and that youth on the northend often can’t get to Elks safely. Expressed that the loss of the diving boards at Elks took away an activity that youth liked. John Staley, Director of Parks, informed the group that the future development of Riverside Pool is still under study and can bring back more information to the group once that is done and that the pool was closed as a result of the placement of the flood protection project. Staley continued that the diving boards were removed after evaluation of what is the best utilization of the space for the most people at the pool and that many insurance companies are not covering diving boards any more. He continued that the Park District did look at adding a water amenities, but decided to wait until after the Canad opens in April and see what impact that has on the community need. He stated that the Canad now is planning on an opening price of $5 per person for off-peak usage and seems reasonable and may meet some of the needs. Staley offered to attend a future Youth Commission meeting to further discuss this topic.

The group discussed that many of the new amenities are always targeted to the Southend of town and the Northend gets older and older and loses more and more things. Some view the northend as the bad part of town and that all kids there are bad and that’s not true. Part of the reason we see some problems is that the youth are bored and don’t have a way to get to the south end to some of the new amenities and their parents can’t always take them to stuff because they are at work.

Suggested topics for future meetings are: Pools, Movies, Back-to-School BBQ, All-Purpose Venue for Youth, Logo & Advertising, Dance. Consensus was that since there is so little time before the end of the year that the next meeting would be devoted to working on a year end dance activity.

The group discussed expectations for each officer to be elected.

President – 1) Leads the meeting.
2) Makes sure the meeting is conducted fairly and all are given an opportunity to speak.
3) Oversee delegated tasks and make sure that everyone is completing their tasks.

Vice President – 1) Will perform the duties of the President in their absence.

Secretary - 1) Perform writing duties on flip chart at monthly meetings.
2) e-mail notices to Youth Commission members as needed.
3) Be the “Go To” person when there is news to get out to Commissioners.

Treasurer - 1) Be responsible for managing revenue and expenses of the Commission.
2) Look for funding sources to support the mission of the Commission.

Elections of officers were held. The officers are:

President – Mandy Spicer
Vice President – Ciaran White
Secretary – Nicole Robertson
Treasurer – Mitch Rood

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.