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Merced Youth Council plans first meeting

After several months of planning, the Merced Youth Council will have its first meeting Monday, when members will look to set a deadline for those who want to apply for an empty council seat.

The four young people on the council have plans to officially select officers, as well as set the deadline to apply for one of the three open seats.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the Sam Pipes Room of Merced City Hall, 678 W. 18th St.

One of the applicants for those spots must come from north Merced and two from central Merced, because the council uses districts for its representatives. The Youth Council gets its members from three districts in the city, with Bear Creek and Highway 99 serving as the dividing lines; one member comes from the city as a whole.

The four sitting members were on the youth task force, which helped develop the guidelines for the Youth Council as well as its duties and requirements. Those four are high school students Katrina Kasper, Robby Huddleston, Linda Moua and Guadalupe Aleman.

The sitting Youth Council members will interview applicants and appoint members to the open seats.

Being a Youth Council member comes with a number of duties. Members are expected to pay attention to Merced City Council agendas and meetings for items of interest to youths in Merced, work with the City Council to meet the needs of young people and act as a liaison between the city’s youths and its elected officials.

The appointment is a two-year term, and each member can serve a maximum of two terms. After the first year of service, members’ participation will be reviewed by their peers.

The Youth Council will hold regular monthly meetings. Members can expect to spend about eight hours a month on council duties.

The applications to join the Youth Council can be found at Merced high schools or at www.cityofmerced.org.

The Merced City Council made the Youth Council official at a meeting in August. The City Council is also looking at adding funding to its yearly budget for the Youth Council.

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