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Council votes to begin a new Youth Council, hears updates
Hinesville sign

At the regular Hinesville City Council meeting Dec. 20, council made board appointments and approved the new Youth Council program, beginning in 2019.

The Youth Council, a product of the off-site planning session Council held in the beginning of August, is the brainchild of Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown and District 2 council member Jason Floyd, but has generated support from all council members.

According to the council meeting book, the Hinesville Youth Council is an initiative focused on gaining knowledge of municipal government, developing leadership and public speaking skills, and promoting a way by which youth can share their perspectives, according to Community Development Department Director Donita Gaulden. The framework for the council has been developed to launch in 2019 with support from the CDD and city clerk.

“Eligibility requirements state that applicants must reside within the City of Hinesville, attend a private school within Hinesville or attend a public school of the Liberty County School System,” she said. 

Students must also be in grades 9-12 during the term, be in good academic standing and free of any serious disciplinary actions within the last six months, and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Participation requirements include: agreeing to the code of conduct; serving at least one full term of two years; attend the swearing-in ceremony, attend the monthly Youth Council meetings from 4-6 p.m. every first Wednesday; attend one City Council meeting during term of service and attend one County Commission meeting during term of service, Gaulden continued.

“The CDD director and assistant director will be the points of contact and may be supported by the administrative assistant,” Gaulden said. “Staff will be responsible for scheduling interview sessions, monitoring Youth Council meetings, and coordinating off-site travel. City of Hinesville’s City Clerk Sarah Lumpkin will assist in training of the Youth Council city clerk.”

The Youth Council will have 12 seats and one city clerk position, Gaulden said. The ayor and mayor pro tem will be selected by peers following council member elections.

The Youth Council framework included position descriptions, a detailed application, code of conduct, dress code, and campaigning rules. Gaulden expressed that the mayor and each council member will appoint one representative to the Youth Council Advisory Board, and that they are welcome to attend the Youth Council meetings.

Gaulden also addressed the proposed budgets for Youth Council for fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020. The proposed 2019 budget is $1,450, with $350 for professional logo development, $600 for button down embroidered shirts and t-shirts, and $500 for incidentals to implement the program, she said. The FY19 costs would be paid from the administration budget.

The FY20 proposed budget is $6,500, Gaulden said. This includes $2,000 for training with the Georgia Municipal Association’s Youth Delegate program in January 2020, and $1,500 for travel to the GMA Youth Delegate program, Gaulden continued.

“In April of 2020, there will be a Youth Council hosted event,” Gaulden said. “We budgeted $2,000 for the event.” The rest of the budget included $1,000 to cover costs of shirts and incidentals in 2020. The FY20 costs will be included in the Community Development budget.

District 4 council member Keith Jenkins raised questions about all city districts being represented among the students in the program.

“There are some concerns that everyone in the city will be represented by someone,” Jenkins said.

Gaulden responded saying that there will most likely be representatives from every district due to makeups of Bradwell Institute, Liberty County High School and First Presbyterian Christian Academy.

“This is for the youth, we need to make it work,” District 1 council member Diana Reid said. 

“We’ve all had a chance to read this and look at it,” District 3 council member Vicky Nelson said. “I think it’s a great idea.”

“This is something that everyone on the council wants to see done,” Jenkins said. “We just have to dot our I’s and cross our T’s.” Council unanimously approved the proposal. Youth Council implementation will begin in 2019.

In other business, council approved all 2019 alcoholic beverage license renewals presented by Hinesville Tax and License Coordinator Yokesha Greene.

The Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Citizens Advisory Committee board appointments expire on Dec. 31. The CAC appointments are for a two year term, according to City Manager Ken Howard. Council has four seats to appoint. At the Nov. 1 council meeting, Jodee Adams was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Tyrone Adams until Dec. 31. Howard cited correspondence from two members who declined re-appointment, he said, leaving two vacant seats.

Council appointed chair Cassidy Collins and Jodee Adams to the HAMPO CAC. The other two appointments will be decided at the next council meeting.

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