Monday’s city council meeting was held in a new venue. Stanley Humphries Secondary School hosted the meeting during school hours, which saw over 60 students along with staff in attendance. Council has been working on coordinating this meeting for quite some time with the idea of reaching out to the youth in the community and getting them involved in local issues.
Mayor Chernoff opened the meeting by welcoming the students and thanking Principal McKenzie. “Council is pleased to bring this meeting to our next generation of voters,” he said. “It is our hope that by hosting the meeting at Stanley Humphries we will start to bridge the gap between our youth and the city. The voice of your generation needs to be heard and we welcome you with open arms. Together we can build a community that is inclusive.”
In keeping with the idea of connecting with the youth, council made sure that several related issues were on the agenda. A $200 grant to Turning Pointe Dance Company was approved to assist with travel expenses related to attending dance competitions in the spring.
Also approved was an increase in the dollar amount to the three scholarships that the city awards each year for Castlegar students from Stanley Humphries Secondary School and the Kootenay Columbia Online Learning Centre heading to post secondary schools immediately following graduation. The previous amount of $500 was increased to $600.
Council decided in favour of purchasing a half page ad in the Stanley Humphries 2016 year book for the cost of $225. The yearbook production is funded solely through sponsor ads and yearbook sales.
When it came time for question period, one brave student approached the microphone. Rory Walton requested that the city look into installing lights at some ball fields in Kinnaird. “During the ball season, the sun gets behind the mountain and we can only play five innings,” he said. Transportation and Civic Works committee chair Deb McIntosh replied they would refer the matter to the department to see what possibilities there might be and to get an idea of what kind of a budget would be involved.
Councillor Florio Vassilakakis worked on organizing the meeting and was pleased with the results. “I am happy to see the turn out. It was nice to see as many kids as we had,” he said. “They came and it looked like a lot of them were really paying attention. We brought the meeting into this forum so these kids could have an opportunity to see what happens. A lot of them have never seen any part of a council meeting, they don’t know what the process is. Now they have seen what the process is.”