Could Newcastle see a new youth council?

December 31, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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In November, City Manager John Starbard met with a student from Hazen High School who suggested city officials create a youth council.The purpose of the council would be to “develop and promote volunteer services, youth activities and awareness for youth interests and opportunities,” according to Starbard.

Starbard said the idea is merely a concept at this point. However, he said the council would likely be small, because of Newcastle’s size and small staff.

Starbard said he feels the idea of involving young people in city government is a great one.

“Why would we not want to encourage the next generation to be more familiar with and more involved in their local government?” he said.

He said the next step in the process is looking deeper into how youth councils operate in cities that have them.

Other cities — including Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and Snoqualmie — have youth councils or advisory boards.

In Issaquah and Sammamish, the youth advisory boards work with the city councils on issues that involve young people. They also do community planning, outreach and volunteer work.

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