Youth Council Bylaws
If you have any questions about this program, please email Communications@SpringdaleAR.gov or call the Mayor's Office at 750-8114.
The Bylaws below were adopted by resolution by the City Council for the 2019 Youth Council class.
ARTICLE I. NAME, PURPOSE, AND ESSENTIAL DUTIES
Section 1.1 Name. Springdale Youth Council (or “Youth Council”)
Section 1.2 Purpose. The Springdale Youth Council is established to encourage young people to become engaged with their local government, receive mentoring from City officials, perform community service for the benefit of Springdale residents, advise local government officials on the issues that face young people in our community, and learn about local government and the importance of civic participation.
Section 1.3. Essential Duties. This Youth Council has six essential duties:
a. Group Presentation: Research an issue that affects youths in our community and present the problem and potential solutions to City Council.
b. Group Event: Plan and execute one event to engage other young people in a topic of the Youth Council’s choosing.
c. Individual Community Service: Complete one community service project for the benefit of the community or a City department. Project must include at least four hours of volunteer time. Members will be required to submit a summary of their experience.
d. Individual Job Shadow: Each participant will select a City department or a department within a county, state, or federal government office to job shadow for one day in the year. Job shadowing must be for at least four hours. Members will be required to submit a summary of their experience.
e. Individual Mentoring: City Council members and the Mayor will be responsible for mentoring two Youth Council members. Youth Council members will remain in contact with their mentor throughout the year. Should a City Council member be unavailable or unwilling to participate in the mentoring aspect of this program, a City staff member or another elected official will take over those duties. Members and mentors are required to meet for one hour a month from November through April. Mentors and mentees must meet before graduation in April to fulfill the requirement. Youth Council members are responsible for scheduling appointments.
f. Individual Program Evaluation: At the conclusion of the program, Youth Council members will complete a program evaluation to help the City officials determine changes that need to be made to the program going forward. The program evaluation will also include a self-evaluation.
Section 1.4. Dereliction of Essential Duties. In the event that a member does not complete the above listed essential duties, the member cannot graduate from the program and is ineligible to reapply to the program in the future. Furthermore, should a member begin to fall behind in the program, the program coordinator may reach out to the member's sponsor and/or school.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 2.1 Number of Members. The Youth Council will consist of up to 18 members representing each grade level from 10th to 12th grade. The Youth Council may be comprised of Springdale High School, Har-Ber High School, Archer Learning Center, and School of Innovation students, in addition to homeschooled and private, magnet, and charter school students.
Section 2.2. Eligibility. Each student shall reside within the Springdale School District. There will be no GPA requirements; however, applicants must have a non-relative employer, teacher, school administrator, government employee, community leader, or a community member who holds a staff position or is a board or commission member at a 501c(3) organization, religious institution, or government entity, who can sponsor their application, vouch for the student’s commitment to the program, and commit their time to help keep the student on track. Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion members, Springdale City Council members, the Mayor, City Clerk, District Court Judge, City Attorney, or any staff mentors cannot sponsor students.
Section 2.3. Appointment of Youth Council Members. Links to the online application will be sent digitally to the Springdale Public Schools, administrators for private schools, magnet, and charter schools in Springdale who serve grades 10-12, and efforts will be made to reach out to homeschooled students. The application will be made available on the City of Springdale’s website no later than May 1. Additionally, paper applications will be made available at the City Administration Building, Public Library, Recreation Center, and Shiloh Museum. PDF copies will also be made available to educators in Springdale no later than May 1 so they can facilitate the distribution of hard copies to their students.
Section 2.3.1. Application requirements. The following item(s) must be submitted by the deadline for the applicant to be considered:
a. Completed Application
b. Parent or Guardian Statement of Permission
c. Sponsor Letter of Recommendation
d. Photography Release Form
Plagiarism on the application is an automatic disqualification from the program for that year. Additionally, the student's school may be notified.
Section 2.3.2. Deadline. The application materials stated above must be turned in to the Mayor’s Office by 5 p.m. on Aug. 1.
Section 2.3.3. Selection. The applications will be reviewed by the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion and Springdale Public School officials. The recommended candidates will be forwarded to the Mayor for approval. Final candidates will be confirmed by City Council at the first City Council meeting in September. The final students and their sponsors will be contacted no later than Sept. 1.
Section 2.4. Terms in Office. Terms in office for each Youth Council member shall run for eight months, beginning at their confirmation at the first City Council meeting in September and ending at their graduation from the program, which will commence at the second City Council Meeting in April of the following year. Youth Council members serve one term. See Article X for exceptions.
Section 2.5. Vacancies. If a member voluntarily leaves the Youth Council for reasons other than extenuating circumstances as defined in Section 4.6., or if they leave after the November meeting, he or she will be ineligible to reapply in the future. If a member leaves the Youth Council and is reappointed in a following year, there will be no opportunity for reappointment should the member need to resign for a second time.
Section 2.6. Compensation and Expenditure of Funds. Members and their sponsors serve without compensation. The Youth Council has no authority to expend funds beyond a pre-determined budget in conjunction with City staff, and the Youth Council cannot incur an obligation on behalf of the City unless approved by the City Council.
Section 2.7. Compliance with City Policy. Members will comply with City Ordinances, Rules, and Policies applicable to the Youth Council and the members.
Section 2.8. Removal. Any member may be removed from their position on the Youth Council for any reason by recommendation to the Mayor from the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion. The Mayor will make the final decision regarding the removal of a member. Once a member is involuntarily removed, he or she cannot be reappointed to the Youth Council. The program coordinator or the Mayor reserves the right to rescind an invitation to a student prior to City Council confirmation. After confirmation, removal procedures must be followed.
ARTICLE III. COUNCIL OFFICERS
Section 3.1. Officers. The Youth Council will elect the following officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Clerk. The officers are elected by a majority vote of the present members at the second regularly scheduled meeting. In the event of dereliction of duty or impropriety, a two-thirds majority vote of the Youth Council members will remove an officer from office. A removal from office is not automatically a removal from the Youth Council.
Section 3.2. Terms of Office for Youth Council Officers. Youth Council Officers serve for a term of seven months, beginning the day of election and ending the day of graduation from the program. In the event of vacancy in the office of President, the Vice President shall serve as President until the Youth Council members vote to appoint a replacement President. A vacancy in the other offices shall be elected by majority vote of the present members at the next regularly scheduled meeting, or as soon as reasonably practical for the unexpired term. If possible, an officer shall continue to serve until the vacancy is filled.
Section 3.3. Duties
a. President – Presides at the Youth Council meetings outside of the regularly scheduled monthly educational meetings and during work sessions as part of the regular meetings. He or she will be the leader of the Youth Council and will help with group coordination, motivation, and will help facilitate the business of the Youth Council.
b. Vice President - Aids the President as needed and fills in as President when he or she is not available.
c. Treasurer – Works closely with the designated City employee to manage all money and fundraising.
d. Clerk - Keeps record and takes minutes of the discussions pertaining to the event and presentation. He or she will also keep track of attendance at any meetings or correspondence of Youth Council members that takes place during or outside of the regularly scheduled Youth Council meetings that pertains to the Youth Council. The Youth Council Clerk may appoint a designated proxy.
ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS
Section 4.1. Time and Date of Regular Meeting. The Youth Council shall meet on the third Tuesday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. in the City Administration Building, in addition to locations as determined by the program. Youth Council members can vote to schedule a second regular meeting time for the purpose of working on the Youth Council’s essential duties.
Section 4.1.1. Holidays. Should the regularly scheduled meeting on the third Tuesday of the month fall on a holiday or a day during a scheduled break from Springdale Public Schools, the meeting will be moved to the second Monday of the month. If a meeting must be cancelled or rescheduled for any reason, it will be rescheduled on a day that is agreed upon by a quorum of the Youth Council and program officials.
Section 4.2. Agenda. The agenda for the regularly scheduled meetings will be set before the program begins in September. However, Youth Council members can determine discussion topics and add additional items to the agenda as needed. Requested agenda additions must be sent to a designated City staff member no later than one week before the meeting is scheduled. The program coordinator reserves the right to make changes to the agenda at any time.
Section 4.3. Special Meetings and Correspondence. Youth Council members can meet throughout the month outside of the regularly scheduled meeting times, but the Clerk or a member who is a designated proxy for the Clerk must be present to take minutes. Additionally, all special meetings will be made available to the public, and must take place in a public place, such as on property owned by the City or the Springdale School District. All members must be invited to any additional meetings, and a majority of the members must be present at any of these meetings. See Section 4.3.1. for exceptions. All must be copied on all group correspondence.
Section 4.3.1. Committees. Youth Council members can decide to form committees to delegate the duties of the Youth Council. It is the duty of the committees to ensure all Youth Council members and designated the City staff member remain informed of all committee decisions. The Youth Council can decide to give full decision-making power to the Committee as it relates to its specific duty through Youth Council vote. Once a committee is formed, committee members must schedule a regular monthly meeting to occur until the business of the committee is complete.
a. If such power is granted, a full Youth Council quorum is not required at committee meetings; however, a full committee quorum is still required.
b. If the Youth Council does not vote to give said power to the committee, all decisions must be voted on by a quorum of the full Youth Council.
Section 4.4. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members. A quorum is required for the Youth Council to convene a meeting and to conduct business at a meeting.
Section 4.5. Voting. Any decision made related to the event, presentation, or officer elections must be agreed upon by a majority of the members present with a quorum. Members must disclose any conflicts of interest related to any of items being voted on, and must abstain from voting if a conflict of interest is determined.
Section 4.6. Attendance.
a. Members shall make meeting attendance a high priority. A member who, except in case of extenuating circumstances, misses more than one regularly scheduled meeting may be removed from the Youth Council. If a member is an hour or more late (or leaves an hour or more early) he or she will only receive half credit for attendance. Therefore, if a member is late (or leaves early) twice, it is the equivalent of missing one full meeting. Extenuating circumstances shall be for the following reasons: documented illness of the member or close relative, family emergencies, and unplanned school activities, church activities, required community involvement, and/or to attend work. Members can miss no more than two regularly scheduled meetings, regardless of extenuating circumstances. A Youth Council member will contact the program coordinator in writing in the event of their absence from a meeting. Parents may contact the program coordinator to notify of an absence in lieu of the student only if the student is ill. Members are expected to fulfill all duties and responsibilities assigned to them and failure to do so will result in removal from the Youth Council. Absences will be reviewed every three months by the Youth Council Clerk and the program coordinator to ensure members are fulfilling their attendance requirements. All members are required to attend the first meeting in September. Members are permitted to miss only one of the supplementary tours. No exceptions. If they miss a regularly scheduled monthly educational meeting, members must set up a time before the next meeting to meet with the program coordinator to pick up missed materials.
b. All members are required to attend the "Event" and "Group Presentation" essential duties. Additionally, members are required to attend at least 75% of all meetings outside of the regularly scheduled monthly meetings and tours.
c. Excessive absenteeism will be subject to action and may result in the member being removed from the Youth Council.
d. If it is determined that a Youth Council member is not meeting the attendance requirements, the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion reserves the right to recommend removal of the student. The Mayor will make the final decision regarding the removal of a Youth Council member.
e. Members should be prepared to meet outside of the regularly scheduled meetings in order to complete the essential duties. However, the Youth Council is not required to meet outside of the regularly scheduled meetings.
Section 4.6.1. Participation – Activities at the regular meetings count toward member participation. Members must participate in at least 80% of activities. This includes making up activities for meetings the members miss. Members will work with the program coordinator to make up activities.
Section 4.7. Observational Meetings/Events. Youth Council members will be required to attend each of the following meetings/events at least one time throughout their tenure on Youth Council. This does not include meetings attended as part of the essential duties.
- City Council Meeting
- City Council Committee Meeting
- Planning Commission Meeting
- One community event hosted by the Shiloh Museum, Public Library, Downtown Springdale Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, or Parks and Recreation
Section 4.8. Supplementary Tours. There are three supplementary tours offered throughout the year. Youth Council members are required to attend. The tours count toward attendance. Tours will take place on the last Thursday of the first three months of the program (September, October, and November). Should the tour date fall on a holiday, or scheduled break from Springdale Public Schools, the tour will be moved to the previous Thursday.
Section 4.9. Program Changes. The program coordinator reserves the right to make changes to the program at any time.
ARTICLE V. ROLE OF CITY COUNCIL
Section 5.1. Reports to Council. At any point, the City Council can request a progress report on essential duties or request advisory support for issues that affect youths in our community. In such cases, all officers or a member proxy, must be present to present to the City Council.
Section 5.2. Mentoring and Advising. City Council members will be paired with Youth Council members for the purpose of mentoring. City Council members/City staff/other elected officials who agree to participate in the mentoring portion of this program will be required to meet with the Youth Council member one-on-one at least once a month. The minimum time commitment expected from participating mentors will include a 45-60-minute introductory meeting with their mentees early in the program, and then at least two hours per month for the duration of the program to be spent meeting with the members (at least one hour per mentee per month). Mentors and mentees can spend more than an hour together each month, but the additional time does not rollover into other months. Additionally, mentees and mentors should be able to talk during meetings, and therefore mentees observing the mentor performing their official duties does not count toward the mentoring requirement. Mentors should also make themselves available through email and phone throughout the program should the student have questions or need guidance.
Section 5.2.1 Talking points each month. City Council mentors must review an item on a recent City Council agenda and discuss the process of determining how to vote on the item.
a. If the mentor is not a City Council member, the mentor must review a current project they are working on, and walk the mentee through the process of accomplishing their goal.
Section 5.2.2 Talking point at least once. Mentor must explain how they came to decide to run for office and what the registration, campaign, and election process entailed in their experience.
- If the mentor is not an elected official, they must discuss their experience working for a local municipality, how they came to work for the City, and the type of interactions they have with the public through the course of their job.
Section 5.2.3. Missed meetings. In the event that a Youth Council member does not complete the mentoring requirement for one month, they may meet with their mentor for two hours the following month to make up the time. This may only happen one time. If the member does not make up the missed session, or misses future sessions, they can be removed from Youth Council.
ARTICLE VI. OPEN MEETINGS
All Youth Council and Youth Council Committee meetings will be open to the public, and a meeting schedule will be made available on the City of Springdale’s website.
ARTICLE VII. BYLAW AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended by the City Council at any time. The Youth Council members and Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion members may propose amendments to the bylaws; however, those amendments must be approved by City Council and will not be effective until a majority vote by City Council.
ARTICLE VIII. CODE OF CONDUCT
Youth Council members must abide by the following code of conduct:
a. Be respectful of themselves and others.
b. Uphold the law.
c. Be professional, accepting, and open-minded. Listen and consider other people’s ideas and feelings
d. Be present, mindful, and engaged.
e. Be a team player.
f. Do not participate in or allow bullying of any kind.
g. Communicate openly and honestly with each other, mentors, City staff, elected officials, and program leaders.
h. Bring a positive attitude to meetings.
ARTICLE IX. GRADUATION
Youth Council members who have successfully completed the requirements laid out in these bylaws will graduate at the second City Council Meeting in April. Members will receive recognition from the Mayor and City Council for their work. Family and sponsors will be invited to this event. All members of the Youth Council must turn in their completed program evaluations in order to graduate.
Article X. Ex Officio
Each year, one former Youth Council member can be chosen by the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion to serve as an ex officio member of the Youth Council for the following year. Members can volunteer for this position after graduation. The ex officio member will not have the ability to vote, except to cast a tie-breaking vote. They do not have to attend the regularly scheduled educational meetings or supplementary tours; however, they are encouraged to attend the work sessions and any outside meetings to help the current members with their essential duties. The ex officio's primary role is to be a resource for the new Youth Council should they need guidance from a former member. The Youth Council is not required to seek counsel from the ex officio member.