Council meeting at high school gets mixed results
A city council meeting held at Stanley Humphries Secondary School Monday afternoon had both good points and bad, according to city councillor Florio Vassilakakis.
The meeting started at 12:30 p.m. (students were allowed to miss some class time to attend), and saw about 65 people in attendance (not counting media, mayor and council, or city staff).
It included a variety of normal agenda items, such as the various department reports, but also promised items more of interest to young people, such as in increase in the amount City of Castlegar scholarships (which hadn’t been increased since 2004), as well as the city’s vote to purchase a half page of advertising from the SHSS yearbook at a cost of $220, which was passed unanimously.
Unfortunately, though council had scheduled a full hour for question period, only one student, Rory Walton, got up to ask a question (that being, would council consider lighting the Kinnaird basketball courts, an issue that was referred to staff to look into).
“I would have liked to see a lot more questions, but the students were a little shy to come forward,” Vassilakakis said. “It would have been nice to maybe see the teachers guiding the students in crafting their questions beforehand.”
He said he’s still pleased the city decided to bring a council meeting to the kids, though, and he hopes it happens again.
“At the end of the day, we did get to show 60-plus kids how the process works, and in that regard it’s positive,” he said. “We have to engage youth – we can’t always ask that it’s them who engages with us. I’m glad we took this meeting to the high school.”
As for whether or not they’ll do it again Vassilakakis said that’s a decision for council to discuss and not only his to make, but he thinks it’s important they try again, perhaps with some different strategies to inspire greater participation.