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Youth Commission Minutes - October 17, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513

The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.

Commissioners Nick Castle, Matthew Strauss, Christine Mendez, Belinda Ordaz, Leah Hocking, Mickell Escobar, Sarah Simmons, Lauren Conder, Chris Walker and C.C. Ahluwalia were present. Adult Advisors Dave Castle, Julie Truesdell and James Martinez were present. Police Liaison Mark Louwerens was present. City Staff Liaison Barbie Gary was present.

Adult Advisor Dave Castle performed the Oath of Office for C.C. Ahluwalia which she accepted.


There were no changes to the agenda.


Commissioner Strauss made a motion to approve the consent calendar. Commissioner Hocking second. All were in favor.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Review Youth Commissioners participation at the Marsh Creek Clean-up event held on September 15, 2007. (M. Escobar)
Adult Advisor Castle and Commissioners Ordaz, Conder and Mendez attended the Marsh Creek Clean-up event. They participated in the event by handing out gloves, picking-up trash and serving lunch to the volunteers. They enjoyed the event and recommend that the Youth Commission participates again next year.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Discuss the Youth Commission’s role at the Monster Mash event which is to be held on Saturday, October 20, 2007.
(S. Simmons)
Commissioner Simmons explained that the Youth Commission has volunteered for this event in past years. The commissioners assist with serving food, facilitating games, and helping with arts and crafts.

Commissioners Conder, Simmons, Hocking, Ordaz and Adult Advisors Castle and Truesdell will attend. Commissioners Mendez and Castle may attend.

City Staff Liaison Gary distributed volunteer permission slips to the Youth Commissioners. The commissioners need to bring their completed waivers to the event. She requested they arrive at 4:00 p.m. to assist with set-up. The volunteers are invited to wear a costume or Youth Commission attire.

• ACTION ITEM Update on the Youth Commission’s booth at Hometown Halloween held in downtown Brentwood on Saturday, October 27, 2007.
(N. Castle)
Commissioner Castle advised that the Youth Commission will participate in Hometown Halloween. Commissioners are needed to help set-up the booth and distribute the Halloween items.

City Staff Liaison Gary advised that the monster horns have arrived. In addition to the horns, the commissioners will hand out orange wristbands left over from a previous year. She asked that those who volunteer for the event meet at the gazebo at 4:00 p.m. They are asked to wear Youth Commission attire if they don’t wear a costume.

Commissioners Castle, Walker, Conder, Simmons, and Ordaz and Adult Advisors Castle and Truesdell will attend.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Update on the Youth Commission’s participation in the Liberty High School Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 26, 2007.
(L. Hocking)
Commissioner Hocking advised that the Youth Commission will participate in the homecoming parade and have been assigned three convertibles. She will find out the time and location for the volunteers to meet and email the information to them.

Commissioners Simmons, Walker and Conder volunteered to ride on behalf of the Youth Commission. Many of the remaining commissioners will be participating in the parade with other groups. Commissioners are asked to wear Youth Commission attire.

Commissioner Hocking will reduce the number of convertibles to one as there are only three commissioners that will be riding on behalf of the Youth Commission.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Report from the Youth Commission Master Plan Subcommittee regarding the status of the youth survey. (D. Castle)
Adult Advisor Castle advised that the subcommittee has met twice to discuss the design and implementation of the youth survey.

Commissioner Ordaz provided two samples of the survey. The questions on both surveys were the same but the format was different. She asked for everyone’s review and feedback.

Commissioners and advisors commented that they prefer a one page survey; the final version should be presented first to the Youth Commission and then to school administrators for their review; add the City of Brentwood logo; move rating scale below age and gender questions; include statement advising the survey is sponsored by the Youth Commission and state the goal of the survey; change margins; consider using legal paper; differentiate between high schools either by printing on different color paper or adding a box to select the respondents school. Each question was reviewed and recommendations were made to simplify, rephrase and give the questions a more personal approach.

Distribution methods haven’t been discussed but the survey is expected to be distributed in early 2008. A spreadsheet will be used to tabulate responses.

The subcommittee will construct its goals for the survey and implement some the changes and recommendations.

• ACTION ITEM Determine Youth Commission’s desire to offer another Sixth Grade Activity Night. (C. Walker)
Commissioner Walker advised that the Youth Commission has hosted a Sixth Grade Activity Night for the past two years. However, attendance at last year’s event was low. The Commission should decide if they will host another event.

Commissioner Strauss feels that if the event is offered again, it should be revamped and approached differently to attract greater participation.

Commissioner Ordaz made a motion to continue to offer another Sixth Grade Activity Night. Commissioner Strauss second. Commissioners Castle, Strauss, Ordaz, Hocking and Walker were in favor. Commissioners Ahluwalia, Simmons, Escobar, Hocking, Mendez were opposed.

Additional discussion ensued about hosting an event for middle school students and not exclusively for sixth grade students.

Commissioner Ordaz retracted her previous motion and made a new motion to no longer continue to offer another Sixth Grade Activity Night but in lieu host an event geared towards middle school students. Commissioner Mendez second. Commissioners Castle, Strauss, Mendez, Ordaz, Hocking and Walker were in favor. Commissioners Ahluwalia, Simmons, Escobar and Hocking were opposed.


City Staff Liaison Gary advised that staff is preparing the City’s application for the 100 Best Communities for Young People. She inquired if any of the Youth Commissioners were interested in answering questions for the “Youth Voice” section of the application. Commissioners Mendez, Hocking, Walker and Castle volunteered to complete the questions. Responses are due to City Staff Liaison Gary by October 31, 2007.

Adult Advisor Martinez complimented Chairperson Ordaz for leading a productive meeting in which the commissioners were engaged and there was good discussion on the topics. However, he reminded the commissioners that the information discussed is public record and to be mindful of side comments, stay focused on the items and clearly state their responses not only verbally but by a show of hands so that the minutes will correctly reflect their responses.

Police Liaison Louwerens offered an idea that the subcommittee considers distributing the Youth Commission survey to middle school students and teachers.

City Staff Liaison Gary asked the subcommittee to consider using Scantron® forms for the responses. It may facilitate and expedite tabulating the results.

Adult Advisor Castle advised that he will arrange another subcommittee meeting to take place.

Monster Mash
Homecoming Parade
Hometown Halloween
Location for December Meeting
Subcommittee Report - Master Plan Survey
Subcommittee Report – Middle School Activity Night
Direction of the Youth Commission regarding Middle School Students

Meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.

City Administration
City of Brentwood Youth Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5444
Fax (925) 516-5445