City Establishes Youth Committee

Wong to serve as first City Council liaison

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published March 19, 2010

Eager city officials, expressing a desire to hear more from Temple City’s adolescent population, agreed on Tuesday to form a new advisory body — a youth committee.

“It is recommended that the committee act in an advisory capacity to the City Council on matters of concern to the youth in our city,” Parks and Recreation director Cathy Burroughs said during the November 17, 2009 city council meeting.

Staff has proposed that the youth committee be filled with 13 individuals, all of whom would need to be Temple City residents.

The Parks and Recreation department intends to supervise the committee, Burroughs noted.

Committee members will discuss issues pertaining to recreational and public safety programs, culture, health, the environment, as well as local legislation and regional problems.

In addition, the committee will be expected to report back to their peers and to the City Council.

Burroughs further recommended that eight slots be reserved for students attending the high schools and middle schools serving Temple City. The remaining positions would be open to any student, including those attending the Dr. Doug Sears Learning Center.

If chosen, students would serve a one-year term on the youth committee. Students would also be limited to four years.

Selecting the inaugural committee members was the only conflict that arose.

Originally, city staff wanted to select the youth committee based on the students they knew, in order to have it up and running by January.

Councilmembers instead balked at the idea, preferring to open the application process to all eligible.

“I think it’s important to open that up,” Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist said, “to anyone who is interested.”

Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu agreed.

“For the youth committee to be successful, we need everybody’s buy in…even if it takes longer [to begin],” he said.

The City Council then moved to appointed Councilwoman Judy Wong, who was the first and only person to have volunteered, to serve as the first liaison to the committee. Wong was unanimously confirmed.

Further details related to the news story:

• The youth committee will be a thirteen-member advisory body to the City Council.

• The youth committee will discuss issues concerning the youth in Temple City. For example, the committee may talk about the effectiveness of recreational and public safety programs; health, cultural and environmental issues; and local legislation.

• The members of the youth committee must be a Temple City resident and between the ages of 12 and 18.

• The members of the youth committee are expected to report back to their peers and to the City Council.

• The City Council, Planning and Parks and Recreation commissions will each send a representative to work with the youth committee.

• Councilwoman Judy Wong will serve as the first liaison. The City Council has agreed to rotate who serves in order to give city councilmembers equal access to the youth committee.

• While Councilman Tom Chavez originated the idea a few months ago, Temple City actually had a youth committee in the 1970s.

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