Monday, July 1, 2002 at 5:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Commissioner Fredenberg called the meeting to order at 5:50 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Secretary Brea Bryant called the roll. The following Commissioners were present: Cynthia Fredenberg, Jessica Ordaz, Ashley Brown, Brian Fredenberg, and Brea Bryant. Absent were Commissioners Coree Brown, Laura Wenograd, Daisy Hurtado, Stacie Del Chiaro, and Taylor Brinkman. Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Supervisor was also present. Adult Advisors Dave Lang and Maria Segura were absent at roll call.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Item No. 1 Approval of minutes of regular meeting on June 3, 2002
Commissioner Brian Fredenberg moved the approval of the minutes of meeting on June 3, 2002. Commissioner Ashley Brown seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 2 Judging of Cornfest Coloring Contest (P. Scherff and Commissioners)
Selection of winners in the coloring contest by category were as follows:
3/4 yr Girl Boy Number of Entries
Jasmine Miller (4) Matthew Shin (4) 58
5/6 yr Girl Boy Number of Entries
Morgan Turturici (6) Alex Filardo (6) 110
7/8 yr Girl Boy Number of Entries
Veronica Hamel (8) Joseph Bello (7) 121
9/10 yr Girl Boy Number of Entries
Monica Csikesz (10) Victor Pimentel (9) 119
Item No. 3 Discussion of scheduling tractor races for the Cornfest(P. Scherff).
Commissioner Cynthia Fredenberg reported that she and Commissioner Brian Fredenberg will not be able to be at the races since they will be on vacation. Ms. Scherff gave the dates of the Cornfest as July 13 and 14 (Saturday and Sunday). They need to be there at 10:00 a.m. and races start at 10:30 a.m. Ms. Scherff will have passes for those working and needs to know how many passes she will need for each day. Commissioners Jessica Ordaz, Brea Bryant, Ashley Brown, Coree Brown, Daisy Hurtado and Taylor Brinkman plan to be there to work at the races. Commissioner Ordaz’s sister Belinda and others will try to get friends and family to help. There will also be staff members there to assist. Ms Scherff will call everyone with information on times, passes, etc. If for any reason they don’t get her call, be sure and call her to get all information prior to the event. She will also need help on Thursday the 11th of July to put coloring contest entries on the wall. Commissioners Brian and Cynthia Fredenberg volunteered, along with Commissioners Ordaz, Bryant, and Ashley Brown. Ms. Scherff will also have prizes which will be Toys ‘R Us, Water World, Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex, and Delta Theatre.
Item No. 4 Discussion of Summer Concerts (B. Bryant).
Discussion of poor popcorn sales which were very disappointing. They felt churros would sell better. The general consensus was that they would rather sell churros and pretzels. Ms. Scherff felt the next concert would draw a larger crowd and they may be able to sell more. Commissioner Bryant will make the calls and get information on selling the churros and pretzels. They need to be at the park at 5:30 p.m. to set up and be ready when it opens for the concert at 6:00 p.m. Motion by Commissioner Brown that they sell churros and pretzels instead of popcorn and spend no more than $500. Commissioner Bryant seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 5 Discussion of Youth Commission Scholarship Application ( P. Scherff).
Ms. Scherff handed out the application given to her by Commissioner Coree Brown who was not able to attend the meeting and felt it was not enough information for a scholarship. Ms. Scherff researched other scholarship information from other sources such as California State Universities at Fresno, Hayward, as well as Freedom High School. Basic requirements were discussed by the Commissioners. Suggestion of narrowing down to someone who definitely shows a financial need, has 3.0 grade point average and demonstrates plans to further education. Ms. Scherff reported that they earned $800 from the Fun Run that should be deposited in their Scholarship Fund. She thinks they should have between $2,000 and $3,000 in that fund. Types of scholarship, whether for boy and girl, how much in each scholarship were discussed.
Types of recommendations required whether from teacher, employer or someone from community. Hardship needs, why they should qualify for the scholarship essay questions discussed. Dates of when scholarship deadlines discussed. Commissioner Ashley Brown will check on financial aids forms and get copies of applications for financial aid. Ms. Scherff said they can advertise the fact at the Cornfest that they will be offering scholarships next year. Residency requirements discussed as well financial need based on income. Ms. Scherff will continue to bring information to next meeting for final draft. Final questions decided to be on form, name, address, grade point average 3.0 or better, with transcript, 2 recommendation letters, financial aid application, and an essay on why they should receive the scholarship. Also, must be a graduating senior. Commissioner Ashley Brown moved that they grant 1 $500 scholarship for a male and one for a female. Commissioner Fredenberg seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously. Draft of application guidelines and criteria will be brought back to the next meeting.
Item No. 6 Discussion of Youth Commission Team Building (P. Scherff).
Ms. Scherff said that she has been attempting to contact the Youth Commissions of San Jose and Santa Clara. She said Santa Clara has a very large Youth Commission and they take the summer off, so it will be difficult to contact them. They discussed going to Great America, costs of tickets, etc. Also discussed Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo. Dates discussed whether during the week or weekend if after school resumes. Adult Advisor Maria Segura asked what the purpose of the “Team Building”, was it just for fun or to exchange ideas? Ms. Scherff said it was to associate with the other Youth Commission for exchange of ideas. Ms. Scherff then suggested getting together with the Youth Commission at Vallejo, since Martinez is close by and they do know some of the Commissioners from Vallejo. It was decided to have Ms. Scherff get the prices and make the calls to the Vallejo Youth Commission and go to Six Flags. Maria Segura, Adult Advisor will try and get tickets. Because of conflicts with vacations and Cornfest it was decided to go on a weekend after school starts again. They could go early in the morning on a Saturday and come home late in the afternoon in August. They will decide on a firm date at the August meeting.
Item No. 7 Discussion and action plan for results of youth surveys (P. Scherff)
At this time the Commission moved to a table with all of the survey results and began going through them for comments. Ms. Scherff said the goal of this meeting was to go through the results and see if there is correlation from Edna Hill, to Bristow and also to the High School. This would be to decide how to present the results to the City Council. Discussion as to one group being responsible for each school and extrapolate responses for each question, what most people thought and if especially good answers, highlight those and then prepare from for the presentation to the City Council. Since many people had much the same answers, it would be important to collate those together and then mention outstanding or particularly different opinions. A large spreadsheet was then prepared and each question/answers grouped in order by school. Discussion of grouping 5th and 6th graders together, and keeping 7th and 8th grades with high school. Comments about differences in these age groups thoughts and actions. Adult Advisor Segura felt there were huge differences when changing from middle school to upper levels. She commented at the younger age group many students really don’t know who they are and are looking to peer groups such as gangs, groups of kids and trying to fit in somewhere. They don’t see gangs as violent only trying to find themselves and identify with who they are, and where they fit in. Charted results as follows for Edna Hill, Bristow and Liberty High School:
1. Is your school preparing you for junior high school?
Most answered agree in Edna Hill and Bristow, Liberty not sure.
2. Your school provides you with information related to jobs you might have as an adult.
Edna Hill and Bristow not sure, and Liberty agree.
3. Your school provides you with challenging and interesting classes.
All three schools basically strongest on agree.
4. Your school prepares you for SAT 9 tests.
Edna Hill and Bristow strongly agree, Liberty need more preparation
5. Our School and community provide us with a violence-free environment.
Edna Hill agree, Bristow not sure, Liberty agree
6. Gangs are not a major concern for the youth in Brentwood.
Edna Hill agree, Bristow not sure, and Liberty agree
7. Violence is a major issue both in our schools and in our community.
Edna Hill not sure, Bristow agree, and Liberty disagree.
8. There is someone in my school that I can talk to about personal issues.
Edna Hill and Bristow agree and Liberty not sure.
At this point there was a discussion of challenges to teens, such as pregnancy and drugs, discussion of guidance counselors, and the thought that often teenagers have their own mind and that their own life as compared to adults when they were that age is different. Ms. Segura further stated that when a teenager talks to you, you have to come down to their level. You can help a lot by just listening. Many times offered help coming from an adult is not listened to or followed. Discussion as to whether counselors should be called curriculum counselors, rather than guidance counselors. Often there is really no one who teenagers really feel comfortable talking to about their problems, even sometimes when they have a good relationship with their parents. Discussion of PAL and fact that they have withdrawn from one school to another and situations have deteriorated because of this change, really feel there should be someone on campus just to hang out with the kids and be their friend. Someone who they can eat lunch with or just feel comfortable with.
9. The Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department offers activities that kids my age can participate in. (# 11 on Liberty survey)
Edna Hill and Bristow agree, Liberty not sure.
Comments that the Parks and Recreations Department does not have activities focused on youth over 14 years of age. Most said they want to hang out in malls or feel frustrated with the what the community has to offer. Lack of facilities. Ms. Scherff said with new gym facilities coming on line there will be more facilities to offer more programs. Comments from Ms. Scherff regarding Liberty’s response. Thinks the Parks and Recreational Department will soon be able to offer intramural sports, late night until midnight after work such as volleyball or basketball.
10. People with different ethnic backgrounds get along together. (#12 on Liberty High School Survey)
Edna Hill and Bristow, response not sure to maybe, Liberty not sure.
Commissioner Bryant commented that she does not feel this is a true reflection. She says her group all sit at the same table in the cafeteria in the morning and at lunch, 20-30 of the African American students. She does not see any interaction at all, let alone in a positive way. It is very cliquish when it comes to break/free times. She said this was true before the recent incidents and is probably even more true since then.
10. Liberty High School only has this as question #10.
Brentwood offers job opportunities for teens during the summer.
Not sure/agree and maybe
One Commissioner said her friend went to a company and they said they would give her a job and when she came back with application they turned her away. Other Commissioners said they had the same experience at other potential employers.
11. Brentwood Police Department interacts with students my age in a positive way. (#13 for Liberty)
Edna Hill agree to strongly agree, Bristow not sure and Liberty not sure.
Comments that the presence of PAL at Edna Hill has made a great difference on students reaction to police department. Believe this show police are not marketing themselves as well at Bristow and Liberty as they should. Some felt the police need to tone down a bit with this age group (Bristow) and not come across as such a “big shot” with their guns, wear plain clothes and be a friend.
12. School discipline is handled the same for all students. (#14 for Liberty)
Edna Hill agree, Bristow not sure, and Liberty not sure
Commissioner Brian Fredenberg said he sees a lot of teachers picking favorite kids. Some feel there is a difference in how discipline is handled depending on ethnic background.
Discussion of some of the comments from students Liberty High School regarding the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department.
Nothing to do in “Corntown”, most interesting thing you can do is loiter. Not much to do here. Need a 13 to 19 club. It’s a ghetto. We need Krispy Creme donuts. Brentwood is not very friendly, have to go to other towns to have fun. Your city is a joke. I laugh at your idiocy, why did you even bother to make this survey? Nerve. The Park and Rec Dept has nothing for teens, need more variety like soccer. The town is boring. The Park and Rec Dept has nothing to offer for our age group. I’m bored and have to drive at least 1/2 hour to have fun. Brentwood has nothing to do . . . there’s just two things, bowling alley and skate park. We need places for local band to play. Nothing to do for BMX riders. Skate park is great but it sucks because of no bikes, open a park for bikes. Brentwood does not have anything for our age group. Need more activities for 18 years and up. Antioch has large movie theater, mall and other activities. Discussion between Commissioners agree that there is little to hold the interest of students over 15 years of age. Need open gyms for basketball, larger theater complex etc.
Question 11. This question regarding Brentwood Police Department and their interaction with students.
Various responses as follows: They don’t interact, they don’t give us food or candy. The Police have always treated me as lower than them. I am not a fan of the police department . . . screw the cops! The cops act different with different races. They don’t interact at all, they don’t even talk. Brentwood cops lack respect for Brentwood’s youth. Their job revolves around busting teens. Police always assume you are a troublemaker and lying. They’re always in your face. They always assume you’re lying, even when you never have. To me it looks like Brentwood cops are looking for kids to bust on Friday and Saturday night for fun. Brentwood Police Department is very inconsistent in the way they treat students. It is different depending upon the officer. They make up their own rules. The police department is very rude to teens. They’re bored and seem to include bothering skateboarders and other kids on their list of hobbies. Students disrespect police officers. Either elementary students idolize them or high school students hate them. Why? I wouldn’t know, haven’t had enough contact. Doesn’t apply to me normally but their interaction in “Every 15 minutes” program was very positive. They harass those that look Mexican. Police love to harass teens. Brentwood cops are rude and don’t care much about anyone who looks like they are under the age of 25. I think they only work with younger kids and not older kids. The Brentwood Police Department does a good job dealing with the youth of our community. They interact with Jr. High students through PAL and High School students through arrest or pulling them over. I don’t talk to many cops. When dealing with us we are guilty, until proven guilty. I have never seen my friends or I interact with a police officer in a positive manner.
Discussion of Question 9 again as to comments from Bristow Middle School. Generally responses were, not a thing to do, we need more carnivals and fairs. We are too big and just a little old for monkey bars. There’s a skate park and not much else. Need more things to do. Need more classes, job education, and just because the teachers don’t see violence doesn’t mean we don’t. Go cart tracks. There’s not a lot you can participate in, some kids don’t skate and there’s nothing for me. They don’t have much in beginning classes for teens. What if it is just your first time in doing that activity, they are all advanced. There’s only the Cornfest. They should have more activities.
Discussion of Question 11. Bristow Middle School regarding Brentwood Police Dept and how they interact with the students. Comments as follows: Police are intimidating and no one really “interacts” with us. They yell and sometimes cuss at us. Police need to change their attitude. Cops take away skateboards. They are mean. I have never seen the police at school, only on motorcycles outside Mrs. Claire’s room. Also they never have any time to talk to the kids or their parents. Kids hate cops, too strict with go-peds. They don’t stop and talk about feelings and bikers shouldn’t have to wear helmets. The police don’t interact “positively” its always negative. Ms. Scherff commented that she felt it was wrong to take PAL out of Bristow and feels it should be back there again.
Additional comments on Question 9 and 11 by Edna Hill students. This regarding the question about the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department activities offered for kids in their age group.
Comments as follows: There are very good activities. I don’t even know where the Parks and Rec. Dept. is at. There is not a ot of free stuff to do. Our teen gangs at school most just say stuff instead of doing it. I’m concerned about the graffiti. You can’t play football at school any more. They need a roller blade park. You are destroying all of our agricultural crops, you must stop it or there won’t be any land left. We don’t have violence but what would happen if a kid ends up shooting, what would happen. Junior high should be a lot like high school and should prepare us for college. Cops always jay walk. How do you get into activities if you can’t afford them?
At this point Ms. Scherff said that what needs to happen next is to start writing and collating all this material to present to the City Council. Dates discussed to set the next workshop meeting. After some discussion, motion was made by Commissioner Ashley Brown to set the special workshop on Tuesday, July 23, at 5:00 p.m. to put together the final draft of the Youth Survey. Motion seconded by Commissioner Cynthia Fredenberg and motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Scherff asked about snacks. Subway sandwiches suggested by Commissioners.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
COMMISSIONERS COMMENTS: None
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: Acting Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
City of Brentwood Youth Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
Fax (925) 516-5445