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

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

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



City Staff Liaison Gary asked for Agenda Item #9 to follow Agenda Item #5.


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

• DISCUSSION ITEM Review Youth Commissioners’ participation in the Monster Mash event which was held on Saturday, October 20, 2007. (L. Conder)
Commissioners Conder advised that several Youth Commissioners volunteered at the event. They assisted with craft projects. The Commissioners enjoyed assisting at the event and felt it was successful.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Review Youth Commissioners’ participation in the Liberty High School Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 26, 2007. (L. Hocking)
Commissioner Hocking advised that three Commissioners represented the Youth Commission in the Homecoming Parade.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Review Youth Commissioners’ participation in Hometown Halloween held in downtown Brentwood on Saturday, October 27, 2007.
(N. Castle)
Commissioner Castle advised that the Youth Commission participated in Hometown Halloween again this year. Commissioners Castle, Ordaz and Conder along with Adult Advisor Truesdell and City Staff Liaison Gary were present. He advised that Youth Commissioner attendance was lower than expected as some did not attend as originally expected.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Discussion regarding future direction of the Youth Commission and involvement of middle school students. (C. Mendez)
Commissioner Mendez advised that the Youth Commission has dialoged about the direction of the Youth Commission and the involvement of middle school students.

Recreation Manager Scherff provided a brief history of the Youth Commission. It was originally established for youth from middle school through high school. It was amended in 2003 to establish an age bracket of 11 years through 20 ½ years for commissioners. Middle school students were a key component in the Youth Commission’s history because there were times when middle school students were the only ones interested on serving on the commission.

The Youth Commission has a responsibility to City Council to serve a cross-section of youth in our community by obtaining input, providing services and acting as a conduit of youth feedback to City Council. The cross-section is important because if the input comes only from high school students, then the voice of the middle school population will not be heard and they are the ones who are following in the footsteps of the current commissioners.

The commissioners and advisors discussed that a benefit of maintaining relationships with middle school students is it will give the Youth Commission insights into their generation. Perhaps, the Youth Commission will consider hosting a forum for middle school students including leadership groups from each school.

Additionally, it was discussed that the Youth Commission should remain open to middle school students but there should not be a requirement as to how many positions must be filled by middle school students. When interviewing for the positions, interviewers should keep in mind that middle school students typically do not interview as well and interviewers should look for the candidate’s potential.

It was also discussed to have a more creative approach to recruiting middle school students; establish relationships by visiting their leadership classes; and bridge the gap by educating them about the Youth Commission.

It was agreed that this topic should be discussed again at a future meeting.

• ACTION ITEM Determine details for the Youth Commission workshop On December 5, 2007. (B. Gary)
City Staff Liaison Gary advised that the workshop on December 5, 2007 can include catering. However, the meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers per City policy. Commissioners inquired if the gift exchange done in previous year can be held again. It was advised that the gift exchange can take place once the meeting has concluded and participation in optional. Various catering menus were circulated.

7:50 p.m. Commissioner Ahluwalia departed

Commissioner Strauss made a motion to approve catering from Gooseberry Fool for the December 5, 2007 workshop with a budget not to exceed $500. Commissioner Simmons second. All were in favor.

• 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 once since the last meeting and developed its goal statement. Survey will need to be approved by City Council.

Recreation Manager Scherff advised that there are companies whose business is to formulate, execute and analyze surveys. They are experienced with proper wording; various distribution methods; and analyzing the statistical value of the responses. It may be beneficial for the Youth Commission to consider retaining a company for assistance with certain aspects of the survey.

8:07 p.m. Commissioner Simmons departed

Recreation Manager Scherff expressed her regret that a survey company wasn’t used in the last Youth Commission survey.

Commissioner Castle inquired about the cost of using a company to assist with the survey. Recreation Manager Scherff hopes that the cost would be under $10,000. Since much of the ground work has been done, she anticipates their services would be more of a consultant rather than a project manager.

City Staff Gary & Scherff will obtain a cost estimate and present it to the Youth Commission Master Plan Subcommittee.

• DISCUSSION ITEM Report from the Youth Commission Middle School Activity Night Subcommittee regarding planning for this event. (B. Ordaz)
Commissioner Ordaz advised that the subcommittee is considering hosting a movie night and perhaps use the Liberty High School Arts Performing Arts Center. The event would be geared towards 6th to 8th grade students; serve food or snacks during intermission; and host the event on February 8, 2008.

Discussion ensued regarding options to use the Heritage High School Theater or using the City of Brentwood projector and screen for other locations.

Commissioner Castle suggested using a neutral site if the event is open to all three middle schools. If it’s hosted at a middle school, registration should be open for only that school.

City Staff Liaison Gary recommended charging a nominal fee for the event. It gives the event value and people will commit to attending. She also recommends doing an activity, competition, or raffle at intermission.

Commissioner Mendez recommends using the intermission to inform the students about the function and activities of the Youth Commission.

Adult Advisor Martinez offered the police station as a venue for the event. A theme could be “Building the Bond Between Cops and Kids”. He recommends a movie rate G or PG-13 (signed permission slips may be required) that showcase youth in leadership roles or with an educational component.

The sub-committee will discuss further and the topic will be presented as an action item on an upcoming agenda.

• ACTION ITEM Approve additional funding of $4.63 for Youth Commission apparel. (S. Simmons)
City Staff Liaison Gary advised that sales tax and shipping for Youth Commission apparel caused the order to exceed the previously approved $550 budget. Additional funds of $4.63 are necessary in order to conclude this action item.

Commissioner Strauss made a motion to approve additional funding of $4.63 for Youth Commission apparel. Commissioner Mendez second. All were in favor.


City Staff Liaison Gary explained a new section of future Youth Commission agendas. The Consent Calendar will contain a Monthly Review section for past events that do not require much discussion.

Adult Advisor Castle reminded commissioners to follow through on their commitments to attend or participate in events.

Subcommittee Report - Master Plan Survey
Subcommittee Report – Middle School Activity Night
Integration of middle school students
December Workshop
Ski Trips

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m

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