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Idaho Enterprise

Mayor’s Youth Council sworn in

For the first time in many years, Malad City is excited to welcome a newly constituted Youth Council into its fold as an advisory group.  The group will provide input to the city council on issues important to the youth in the valley, as well as help support and organize city functions in the upcoming year.  

The League of Idaho Cities, a partner organization with the Association of Idaho Cities, has encouraged cities across the state to actively engage their young people through such organizations.  “It’s an important way for younger people to understand how city and local government works,” Mayor Joan Hawkins, who spearheaded the formation of the group, said.  “We need them to be involved in what happens in our town, and we also find that young people have a lot of great ideas that wouldn’t necessarily occur to us.”

According to Mayor Hawkins, the growth of youth councils throughout the state has been substantial, with Caldwell being noted as an especially effective example.  “By next year, a majority of towns are going to have their own groups, and we think it will be a great thing to have here,” she said.

For several years, there has been interest on the part of the council in creating a mechanism for getting feedback on city projects from those who are most likely to be participants in the games, events, and concerts that the city often plans.  This year is the first time all the pieces have really come together to kickstart the process.  “We’ve had a council in the past, and I think we’re all excited to have one again.  I can’t wait to start working with these kids,” Hawkins said.  

After spending time speaking with the graduating classes of Malad Middle School and students at Malad High School, Mayor Hawkins recruited a total of eleven students to serve as the first class, including representatives from ninth to twelfth grade.  Members of the council must be students enrolled at MHS, with at least a C average.  The requirements for students who join the council are to complete four hours of community service per semester, participate in volunteering throughout the community, and attend at least one city council meeting a session.

While the council is in its early stages at the moment, plans for how it might work alongside the city will be more fully put in place after the group meets officially for the first time on July 27.  The meeting will elect officers, establish bylaws, and determine how it plans to interact with the city council.  One provisional idea is to have a representative of the Youth Council in attendance for City Council meetings, which would allow members a close-up look at the deliberation process used in governmental meetings, and keep members informed on issues relevant to citizens.  

The Youth Council is also likely to be involved in the planning and execution of various activities throughout the year hosted by the city, including the Fourth of July celebrations, various concerts throughout the year, the Easter egg hunt, and other community events, as well as ongoing issues related to Parks and Recreation.

The first Youth Council’s roster includes: Porter Kimberling, Cambree Howe, Katie Marble, Mattilyn Jacobson, Mathilde Dickerson, Aubree Palmer, Tylee Venable, Marinn Brown, Kala Layton, Aubrey Corbett, and Adi Schow.