County’s youth may get their say

Supervisors consider new 15-member commission
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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By Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer Supervisor Jim Holmes is seeking a voice for youth in Placer County government. Holmes will be asking the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to approve formation of a 15-member Placer County Youth Commission. The commission will identify issues facing local youth and bring ideas to improve conditions to the attention of the Board of Supervisors, all who are age 40 or older. The commission’s members would be between the ages of 14 and 21 years and pulled from all of the county’s five electoral districts. Holmes said Friday that with the county involved in youth-involved programs and services such as children’s protective services, the emergency shelter, the courts and probation, it’s time to join the more than 100 other local governments in California that already have similar commissions. “It’s something I’ve been talking about for a long time,” Holmes said. “It’s a good idea to have young people engaged in government.” Holmes said giving youth a voice in local decision making mutually benefits both the younger population and the greater community. It would also provide a recognized link between young people, the board and the community, he said. Holmes said the new commission will learn about the local government process first-hand by giving recommendations to the Board of Supervisors that will help shape public decisions, policies and programs related to young people. “This is an opportunity for us to get a better sense of the issues,” he said. “We see the negative in the papers but there’s also a lot of good being done.” One of the charges of the commission would be to organize activities to help educate and motivate youth in the county to participate in the local political process. Holmes said the commission, which will receive federal and state funding, is targeted to start next school year. One goal is to prepare an annual report to be delivered to the Board of Supervisors by June 1, 2010. The UC Cooperative Extension program and Placer County Health and Human Services Department will work together to provide initial guidance to the commission. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at ---------- What: Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting When: 9 a.m. Tuesday Where: County Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn