Hamilton restarting youth commission after 2-year lapse

Way back then: Hamilton Youth Commission members in 2009 discussed ideas for improving Hamilton, with plans to present their concepts to Hamilton City Council. After a two-year lapse, the Hamilton Youth Commission is being re-activated, with city staff hoping it will be up and running by December. STAFF FILE PHOTO/2009
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Way back then: Hamilton Youth Commission members in 2009 discussed ideas for improving Hamilton, with plans to present their concepts to Hamilton City Council. After a two-year lapse, the Hamilton Youth Commission is being re-activated, with city staff hoping it will be up and running by December. STAFF FILE PHOTO/2009

After a two-year lapse, the Hamilton Youth Commission is being re-activated, with city staff hoping it will be up and running by December.

The Hamilton Youth Commission was created by city ordinances in 1999, and is made up of high school students who offer their opinions about the city and perform service projects.

Details of the youth commission’s aims and operations are still being worked out, said Kristin Youngmeyer, who is working on a fellowship in the city manager’s office.

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With the youth commission, “I know they’re going to be looking at various issues in the community, because Hamilton’s youth, if they’re not 18, they cannot serve on a city commission or board, or anything like that,” said City Clerk Nick Garuckas. “It’s a way for them to stay involved.”

The nine-member youth commission’s official purpose is to give students a “formal role in planning the future of the city by participating in the decision-making process for the growth and development of the community on those issues of importance to them and impacting upon their lives,” according to the 1999 legislation that created it.

Students, who must live inside city borders, must be juniors or seniors in high school to be on the volunteer panel.

“The general idea is the commissioners would meet twice a month, one in a formal meeting, and one an informal meeting that would be open to the public, ideally students,” Youngmeyer said. “That’s where we’re at now, but it’s still in the works of being developed.”

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In addition to the commissioners, there also are youth ambassadors that are part of the organization. As commissioners graduate from high school, the ambassadors are ready to take over the following year as commissioners, organizers said.

“This is another way for other opinions to be heard,” Garuckas said, “and give (youth) another outlet.”

Anyone who would like more information about the program can contact Youngmeyer at kristin.youngmeyer@hamilton-oh.gov.

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