Editor's Note: Former Art. XIII, Commemoration Commission, adopted 4-6-2004, was repealed 3-4-2008.
This article shall be known as "Article III, Manchester Youth Commission."
The purpose and intent of this article is to establish an independent Youth Commission to advise the Board of Directors, to increase communication between adults and youth, to ensure that the youth in the community are an integral part of government decisionmaking in Manchester, and to foster and encourage civic and neighborhood pride and a sense of identity through knowledge, understanding, and increased involvement of Manchester's youth in present and future municipal affairs.
The Youth Commission shall consist of 24 members appointed by the Board of Directors. Members shall be students who reside in Manchester and attend school in Manchester, are enrolled in or entering grades 9 through 12, except that not more than four members may be students under the age of 19, enrolled in Manchester Community College.
Prior to recruitment of the Commissioners, the General Manager shall appoint five Town staff members or community leaders with professional backgrounds in youth development, policy and advocacy to conduct a candidate selection process to identify, recruit, interview, select and recommend to the Board of Directors potential youth Commissioners who have demonstrated a sincere interest and motivation for improving the community. The membership of the Commission shall reflect a broad range of diversity encompassing, but not limited to, relevant differences such as ethnicity, location of residency, socio-economic background, religion and gender.
The General Manager shall appoint and yearly review two Town staff members employed by the Youth Services Bureau and/or Parks and Recreation Department as Commission Advisors who shall serve in an adult administrative, supervisory and supportive capacity to the Commission to provide oversight and facilitate interpersonal connection, develop meeting procedures, and assist with planning and policy development of the Commission. The Commission Advisors shall be nonvoting members of the Youth Commission. At least one member shall attend meetings of the Commission. The Commission Advisors shall receive any training deemed necessary by the General Manager to prepare them for their Commission responsibilities.
The Commissioners' term of office shall be two years. Members will serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. If a Commissioner does not complete his or her term, the Board of Directors shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the unexpired terms.
Eligible Commissioners may be appointed to subsequent terms of one year for a total of not more than five years.
Absence from more than three consecutive regular meetings constitutes ground for removal.
Members of the Commission are expected to demonstrate leadership qualities in and out of Commission activities. Behavior that is likely to discredit the Town of Manchester is ground for dismissal.
At the first meeting in October each year, the Commission shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair to serve one-year terms. The Chair will assume the additional responsibility of serving as Youth Representative to the Board of Directors. In the Chair's absence, the Vice Chair may report to the Board of Directors.
The Youth Commission shall hold regular meetings at least monthly between October and September and may provide a method for the calling of special meetings. The Commission shall establish a regular time and location for its meetings and may adopt rules of procedure. The first meeting may be a leadership training retreat.
Twelve members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. All actions will require a majority vote of Commissioners present.
Minutes of meetings shall be kept and filed with the Town Clerk.
Commission members shall serve without compensation for their services, but they shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.
The Board of Directors may appropriate a budget for the Youth Commission to provide for necessary training, expenses and expenditures.
The duties of the Youth Commissioners shall be relative to the issues important to the Board of Directors, the Town and to the youth of Manchester. Each year the Youth Commission, in consultation with the Board of Directors, staff, youth and other community leaders will develop a working agenda that will best serve Manchester youth and the community. Duties may include:
Serve as a catalyst organization to identify and promote youth issues.
Foster greater involvement of youth in municipal government.
Prepare for leadership through appropriate training, schedule attendance of one or more of its members at training conferences, sessions, and retreats at any time during the year as approved by the General Manager and appropriated by the Board of Directors.
Propose policy recommendations and priorities to the Board of Directors to improve the lives of Manchester's youth.
Review municipal matters referred to the Commission by the Board of Directors or other Town boards, committees, or commissions and make appropriate recommendations on those matters.
Monitor and measure the effectiveness of municipal youth programs, projects and policies of the Town of Manchester.
Partner with other governmental agencies, neighborhood and community organizations to hold forums on problems, activities and concerns of youth, as the Commission deems desirable.
Participate with other Town boards, commissions and committees in the planning of youth-oriented projects and building facilities upon request by the Board of Directors.
Manage the use of grant and other funds appropriated to the Commission by the Board of Directors for the support and encouragement of youth-led initiatives.
The Youth Commission shall publish an annual report of its activities, recommendations and accomplishments, to be presented in June of each year to the Board of Directors and publicly distributed.