| CITY OF BRENTWOOD YOUTH COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
August 4, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94514
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Chairperson Cynthia Fredenberg.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners present at roll call were Luke Barnesmoore, Ashley Clare, Elizabeth Cruz, Mickell Escobar, Cynthia Fredenberg, Leah Hocking, Christine Mendez, Brianna Swisher and Belinda Ordaz. Commissioner absent at roll call was Taylor Brinkman.
Tom Burt, Recreational Services Supervisor represented staff from the Parks and Recreation Department. He is the liaison from the City to the Youth Commission. Adult Advisors Kiko Ceja and Anamarie Torres were present as well as Mark Louwerens representing the Brentwood Police Department. Adult Advisor Victor Silva was absent.
1. Officer Mark Louwerens, Brentwood PAL Member, will discuss forming a sub-committee from the Youth Commissioners to form a Youth Directors Committee for PAL.
Officer Louwerens gave a brief description of the California PAL Youth Director’s Committee, and that basically their responsibilities are the same as the City Youth Commission, but they perform on a statewide level. They are hoping to have a sub-committee of the Brentwood Youth Commission who would like to be involved in the committee. He gave some background on the state and national PAL and the fact that the Brentwood PAL and Youth Commission are highly regarded by the state organization. He brought forth the idea of forming a sub-committee consisting of four or five of the Brentwood Youth Commissioners. They would then attend conferences such as the leadership conference which was currently being held in Monterey. Expenses would be completely paid for by the CALPAL (California PAL) for those committee members attending these events. There would also be a spring event at Sacramento where they would visit the legislative process there. He described the make-up of the PAL board and who in the community sits on this board, also the impact in the community of the PAL organization. Commissioners asked how soon they would have to form this sub-committee. Officer Louwerens said up to 3 to 5 months. Other questions were what type of commitment this would require of the sub-committee members and how soon they would need to let him know if they were interested. Officer Louwerens responded to these questions. Adult Advisor Kiko Ceja asked if there were three Commissioners interested. Mr. Burt asked how many Commissioners would need to be involved, Officer Louwerens said anywhere from three to five, usually four and have it evenly divided so to have two boys and two girls. Other questions were raised as to the size of the organization and if they should look for Commissioners to serve now. The PAL is now working with three of the schools in the community. Officer Louwerens said that at the conference now on-going at Monterey. The theme is what to plan for after high school, and they have a number of representatives from colleges, the military, etc. speaking to the group. He would like to see something similar to the Job Fair put on by the Youth Commission with the PAL. He discussed the goals of the PAL board.
Mr. Burt suggested putting this on the September agenda. Discussion of Commissioners that would be interested, Officer Louwerens will bring back further information from the PAL board. Mr. Burt asked just what the Commissioners commitment would be on a monthly basis. Officer Louwerens said not a lot, they would be doing much the same as they are currently doing on the Commission. There were other questions by Adult Advisor Ceja, responses by Officer Louwerens. Commissioners Leah Hocking, Elizabeth Cruz, Ashley Clare and Cynthia Fredenberg volunteered as being interested in working with the sub-committee. Mr. Burt thanked the Commissioners for volunteering and said that it will be on the September agenda and with further information from Officer Louwerens. He asked Commissioners to write down any further questions for that meeting for Officer Louwerens, he also gave his cell phone number at work to the Commissioners.
There were no changes to the Agenda.
Ms. Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager for the City of Brentwood introduced herself and said that she was there in behalf of the Arts Commission. The Arts Commission has requested her to ask the Youth Commission if they would be serving on one of their sub-committees. She explained that the Arts Commission is similar to the Youth Commission and also serve by appointment of the City Council. The committee that is interested in the Youth Commission’s input is the Performing Arts Sub-committee. This sub-committee is interested in bringing in performing arts to the City of Brentwood. They are interested in having the Youth Commission’s ideas and suggestions in bringing in performing arts to the City of Brentwood. She described the types of performing arts such as theatrical productions, dances, musicals and other types of performing arts. She wanted to know if any of the Commissioners would be interested, and said the commitment should not be too high, maybe once a month, should not take too much time, possible attending a meeting once in awhile. Commissioner Mendez said she would be interested. She said they are currently working on the “Sing Along Messiah” which will be performed in December and would also like to have other ideas from the Youth Commission. She asked for discussion and questions from the Commissioners. Commissioners discussed the issue, Commissioner Cruz suggested some musicals that were more culturally diverse. Mr. Burt said that since Commissioner Cruz was interested, then would note that and let the Art Commission’s Performing Arts Committee know that one Commissioner is interested.
2. Approve Regular Meeting Minutes of July 7, 2004. (T. Burt).
Commissioner Ashley Clare moved to approve the July 7th, 2004 minutes, Commissioner Elizabeth Cruz seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
3. DISCUSSION Youth Master Plan Phase IV - Youth Forum (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff discussed the history of the Youth Commission and explained that when they were formed about five years ago. She was present at the meeting to explain what the next step in the Youth Commission should be in their Master Plan. She discussed what had been in involved in the previous Master Plans, beginning with the Youth Survey of the schools in 2001. The next phase as a result of the survey was to have a better communication between the Police Department of Brentwood and the youth of the city. She explained further the results of the survey to the Commissioners as well as the Parks and Recreation Department. Questions were asked as to what the youth can do to open up communications between these two entities. She said a suggestion was that the youth be represented in “Club Rush” a club that was formed by Chief Davies and that one of the Youth Commissioners be represented at these meetings. She gave some of the other suggestions that came out of this survey. She said that the final analysis was that the main goal was to improve the relationship between the City, schools and staff through joint youth activities. She gave the Commissioners other ideas that had been discussed to achieve this goal. She noted that the climate has changed somewhat since 2002, some she feels as a result of the survey.
She said that now they are looking at whether the Parks and Recreation Department has done all that they could do for the teens, also if the Police Department needs to do more to achieve the goals set. She feels that the Youth Commission needs to focus on certain areas, such as the relationship between the Brentwood Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department and how they can unite together with the community to service the youth. She suggested brainstorming further, or could form a sub-committee to work on the issues along with representatives of the schools. The results of this sub-committee would then be brought back to the Youth Commission. Commissioner Clare and Cruz expressed thoughts and concerns regarding the open forum. Mr. Burt also added to the discussion saying that they would need to clarify the issue with a set of questions, rather than having an open forum that could end up with many questions that everyone would want addressed immediately. He felt the focus should be on two or three specific issues that they want specific feed back on. This way it would be more structured and give them a clearer direction. There was further comment and suggestion from former Adult Advisor Dave Lang. There was also further discussion with Ms. Scherff, and the Commissioners. Commissioners asked who should come up with the topics for the forum and Ms. Scherff felt a sub-committee could formulate the questions for the police department, Parks and Recreation Department and the schools. Discussion of educating the youth that the police aren’t bad people or scary, that they are on the school grounds to protect the youth and youth should feel comfortable in coming to them. Officer Louwerens commented on the topic as well. Commissioner Cruz felt it was up to the Commissioners as well to educate the youth at school about the role of the police officers on campus. Commissioner Hocking expressed similar views. Other Commissioners also added input and asked questions about the forum. Ms. Scherff also added that all of the Commissioners are “ambassadors” for the city, the Park and Recreation Department and their schools and it is up to them to speak up and through their educating others it will help clarifying matters for all youth in the city.
Adult Advisor Ceja asked if the forum would be broken down to middle schools, elementary schools and high schools. Ms. Scherff said it will start with just the high school level and see how that works out and proceed from there later on. Ms. Scherff asked if there were Commissioners who would be able to commit to four to six hours a month for this project.
There was discussion of where the forum would be held and other relative issues. Commissioners gave ideas as to what the youth’s concerns were. Suggestion box was one of the forms given. Commissioners also were concerned about the time factor, how much time they would be given to prepare for the meeting. Ms. Scherff was hoping that the meeting could take place by September, depending on when all of the entities involved could schedule the time. Commissioner Cruz indicated that she would be very interested in the project but would like to know the level of commitment, how much time she would have to commit to. Ms. Scherff said she was unsure, but the first month would probably involve the most time, possibly 3 to 4 hours, after that the sub-committee would come back to the full Commission with plans and ideas. There was some further discussion among the Commissions. Motion made to form a sub-committee to work on the planning of the Youth Forum, by Commissioner Clare, seconded by Commissioner Cruz. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Burt asked if anyone else was interested. Ms. Scherff thanked the Commissioners for their time and attention.
4. DISCUSSION Upcoming Youth Commission mixer in September. (T. Burt)
Mr. Burt reminded the Commissioners that the next meeting will be the mixer with the City Council and other city officials invited to attend. It will start at 6:00 p.m. with food and beverages served. Mr. Burt will send out the invitations. He asked the Commissioners what kind of food and beverages they would prefer. If they have no preferences, he will go ahead and plan for the catering. Commissioner Ashley Clare moved to set aside the amount of up to $500 for funding the mixer on September 1, 2004. Commissioner Cruz seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
5. DISCUSSION Homecoming and Hometown Halloween. (T. Burt/All Commissioners)
Mr. Burt reminded the Commissioners that there will only be one more meeting between this meeting and the Hometown Halloween and he had received a flyer which Adult Advisor Kiko Ceja passed out regarding these two events. This detailed what happens at the events and he requested that there be volunteers from the Commission to work in the parade and Hometown Halloween. Mr. Burt also recommended that the Commissioners recruit other students to participate in the parade. He said that this is a great way to get out into the public sector and publicize the Youth Commission. Hometown Halloween is on Saturday, October 30, 2004, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and is located throughout downtown Brentwood. Previously, the Commissioners have had a booth and handed out candy to the people passing by and other informational material. Commissioner Clare pointed out the fact that there is a conflict with the Homecoming Parade and dance which are scheduled for the same date. There was discussion with Adult Advisor Ceja and the Commissioners. Mr. Burt stressed that he would like to see a good representation from the Commissioners. These events promote good will in the community and are a good opportunity for the Commissioners to be seen. He asked if there were any more ideas for the parade other than riding in the back of a truck. Discussion of a float, and Mr. Burt said that the city has vehicles that can be used in the parade. There was more discussion of the event with the Commissioners and whether a float would be feasible. This will be further discussed at the September meeting. Mr. Burt suggested asking people in their leadership classes, and other friends to get involved with the Commissioners in these events, hoping that some day they would be interested in being on the Youth Commission. Commissioner Luke Barnesmoore suggested asking people in his Middle School to help with decorating the float. Some suggested using a boat for the float. Commissioners were asked to keep thinking about it and write down their ideas and be prepared to form a sub-committee and vote on the plans at the next meeting in September.
6. ACTION “A Day in the Park” subcommittee formation. (T. Burt/All Commissioners)
Mr. Burt announced that this event is coming up on October 9, and 10 and there had been some discussion of the food and booth ideas at the previous meeting. The Commission is still working on ideas for the booth, what to sell. He didn’t feel they need to appoint a sub-committee at this meeting, but he will talk further with the “Day in the Park” people in the Art Commission and let them know that they need more specifics from them as to what they want them to do. He will bring this up again then at the September meeting when he has more specifics as to what they want the Commission to do. He said this will be a fund-raiser. One of the Commissioners said that she had a friend who has a popcorn machine, and also can do snow cones, etc. Mr. Burt made a note of that. Adult Advisor Anamarie Torres suggested renting a jumper and charging $1.00 to use it. Mr. Burt will look into this also, and get the opinion of the “Day in the Park” people.
7. ACTION Subcommittee formation for distribution of Teen Crisis Card to local agencies. (T. Burt)
Mr. Burt said that the Teen Crisis Cards need to be distributed again this year as they have in the past. He said this is something that a sub-committee could easily do this in the next week or two. He is asking that the cards be taken to local agencies, doctors offices, schools and make sure that they have them at the school offices and are available for the youth. This should not take more than an hour or two in the next couple of weeks. He asked for volunteers for this task. Commissioners Leah Hocking, Luke Barnesmoore, Brianna Swisher and Ashley Clare volunteered to deliver the cards. There was discussion of the fact that some did not know about the Crisis Card and that there should be more publicity regarding it for the youth in the community. There was some discussion of the resistance in the past of some of the schools and offices in distributing the cards. Mr. Burt also suggested that later on the card should be reviewed and possible updates or changes made. This might be a job for a sub-committee. He discussed some of the history of the Teen Crisis Card. Commissioner Clare suggested putting an announcement at the schools about the cards. She will take care of this for Liberty High School and Commissioner Brianna Swisher will do the same at Bristow Middle School, Commissioner Belinda Ordaz also of Liberty will assist in the distribution. Discussion of when this sub-committee should meet, a date of August 11, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. was decided on. The Commissioners will receive a call from Lisa Smith of the Park and Recreation office to inform them where the meeting will take place. Commissioner Mickell Escobar will also try to be present and a part of the sub-committee. Mr. Burt asked if any of the Adult Advisors would like to be involved. Anamarie Torres, Adult Advisor volunteered.
The Commissioners were urged to wear their tee shirts or sweat shirts depending on the weather when in the public for special events.
Adult Advisor Kiko Ceja said that they need to contact the Brentwood Press as they are publishing the wrong date for the meetings. Commissioner Cruz volunteered to do this. Mr. Burt suggested at that time to also try to get an article in the paper about the Youth Commission. Commissioner Hocking suggested inviting them to the mixer, and Dave Lang suggested talking to Rick Lymre and inviting him to the mixer. The Commissioners should wear their Youth Commission shirts at the mixer. Mr. Burt reminded all Commissioners to be on time for this meeting.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Day in the Park
Youth Directors Council/PAL
Performing Arts Committee
New Years Event
Chairperson Cynthia Fredenberg adjourned the meeting at 8:47 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
City of Brentwood Youth Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
Fax (925) 516-5445