Youth Council Bylaws
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. Group Service Project: Complete one service project for the benefit of the community or a city department.
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.
e. Individual Mentorship: City Council members and the Mayor will be responsible for mentoring two students. 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 mentorship aspect of this program, a City staff member or another elected official will take over those duties.
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.
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 will be comprised of Springdale High School, Har-Ber High School, and School of Innovation students, in addition to homeschooled and private 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.
Section 2.3. Appointment of Youth Council Members. For the 2017/2018 session, links to the online application will be sent digitally to the Springdale Public Schools, administrators for private schools in Springdale who serve grades 10-12, and efforts will be made to reach out to homeschooled students, as well. The application will be made available on the City of Springdale’s website no later than July 1. Each year thereafter, in addition to the process stated above, 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 so they can facilitate the distribution of hard copies to their students no later than April 1.
Section 2.3.1. Application requirements. The following item(s) must be submitted for the applicant to be considered:
a. Completed ApplicationSection 2.3.2. Deadline. The application must be turned in to the Mayor’s Office by 5 p.m. on August 1.
b. Parent or Guardian Statement of Permission
c. Sponsor Letter of Recommendation
The following item(s) must be submitted to the City by the first meeting in September
a. Photography Release Form
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. The final students and their sponsors will be contacted no later than September 1.
Section 2.4. Terms in Office. Terms in office for each Youth Council member shall run for eight months, beginning the first meeting in September and ending at their graduation from the program, which will commence at the City Council Meeting immediately following the execution of their event planned for the eighth month of the program. Youth Council members serve one term. See Article X for exceptions.
Section 2.5. Vacancies. Vacancies that occur during a term shall be filled as soon as reasonably possible and in the same manner as an appointment in accordance with these bylaws up until the month three meeting. Thereafter, the slot will remain vacant. If possible, the member shall continue to serve until the vacancy is filled. If a member voluntarily leaves the Youth Council for reasons other than extenuating circumstances as defined in Section 4.6., 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 2.5.1. Filling Vacancies. Members of the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion will review applicants who applied for that term and make a recommendation to the Mayor to fill the vacancy. The applicant filling the vacancy must be approved by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council before his or her term can begin.
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.
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. The President is then appointed by the City Council based on the election and recommendation of the Youth Council. 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 or 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 City Council appoints 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. 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 project, 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 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 school, 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 City 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 staff member will distribute a final agenda with minutes from the previous meeting at least three days before the meeting. The Youth Council Clerk will provide the minutes to the staff member no later than one week before the meeting is scheduled.
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 members in addition to one designated City staff member must be copied on all group correspondence. Special meetings can take place no sooner one day after City staff has been notified of the meeting.
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 meetings and 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.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.
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 4.5. Voting. Any decision made related to the project, 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, as determined by the Youth Council, misses two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings may be removed from the Youth Council. Extenuating circumstances shall be for the following reasons: documented illness of the member or close relative, school activities, church activities, family emergencies, community involvement, and/or to attend work. A Youth Council member will contact the designated City employee in the event of their absence from a meeting. 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 to ensure members are fulfilling their attendance requirements.Section 4.7. Observational Meetings. Youth Council members will be required to attend each of the following meetings at least one time throughout their tenure on Youth Council. This does not include meetings attended as part of the essential duties.
b. Members are also required to attend 50 percent of all Youth Council activities (committee meetings, community service, presentation, and event). Attendance will be reviewed every three months by the Youth Council Clerk to ensure members are fulfilling their attendance requirement.
c. Excessive absenteeism will be subject to action and may result in the member being replaced on 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.
• City Council MeetingSection 4.8. Optional Tours. There are two optional tours offered twice throughout the year. Youth Council members can sign up to attend. The optional tours can count toward attendance upon request of the Youth Council member.
• City Council Committee Meeting
• Planning Commission Meeting
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 youth 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 mentorship. City Council members/City staff/other elected officials who agree to participate in the mentorship 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 Council members 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 students (at least one hour per student per month). 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.
a. 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.
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 next City Council Meeting immediately following the execution the Youth Council event, which will occur in the eighth month. 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 will be chosen to serve as an ex officio member of the Youth Council for the following year. The ex officio member will not have the ability to vote, except to cast a tie-breaking vote.