Youth Board gets down to business

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By Katy Korkos

The county's newest board is also its youngest, with none

of the five volunteers older than 18. The young advisors hit the ground running

at their inaugural meeting Monday, and have taken the first steps toward

creating a work plan, setting up subcommittees and developing tasks for the

year ahead.

Colin MacArthur was elected chair and Ariana Rowberry

co-chair at Monday's meeting, which was attended by the all of the approved

board members. The board is comprised of Nat Gustafson, Ben Batha and Adrian

Figg as well as MacArthur and Rowberry. Two more members will be added to

create a full complement of seven, with interviews taking place on Thursday.

Capt. Kevin Purtyman of the Los Alamos Police Department

is the staff advisor to the group, and Councilor Nona Bowman is the council

liaison, and both were in attendance Monday. MacArthur conducted the orderly

meeting, turning to Bowman and Purtyman only for advice on completing a work

plan and staying within council's guidelines for boards and commissions.

The board's foremost task is to advise council on

youth-related issues, but before the board can advise council, they will

evaluate the relative importance of existing youth services by means of a


Youth programs in Los Alamos fall under the purview of

both the community services department and the police department, and

sub-committees were chosen for each of those areas, with Rowberry and Figg

agreeing to look into programs and activities in the justice area and Batha and

Gustafson looking at recreation and community services. MacArthur will follow

up on trying to get distribution for the survey.

Purtyman said, "We'd like to see what's working and

what's not working. What is the outcome of our programs like the JPO, Teen

Court and restorative justice programs?"

"We should specifically address some specific

programs in the survey," Figg said. He added that he had been shown a list

of more than 75 youth programs conducted under the community service

department's recreation heading, many of which were unfamiliar to him.

"We should survey to ask if they've heard of it (a

program or activity)," Mac Arthur said.

The three overarching goals of the county that apply

directly to the Youth Advisory Board are to "Engage citizenship,"

"Expand education" and "Enhance youth activities."

Each of the county's boards must tailor its work plan to

fit within the council's strategic goals, and the new board adopted three of

those goals: "To revitalize downtown," "To increase non-LANL

jobs" and "Make Trinity Site available for development."

Board members saw several ways that youth input could

help to council to achieve those goals.

"We could be involved with revitalizing downtown and

increasing non-LANL jobs, if we increase jobs for teens, and provide things

kids can do downtown," Batha said.


should try to make some progress before the end of the year, and then get

presentations from other groups before we decide what to suggest,"

MacArthur said.

The board's next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7

p.m. Nov. 19 at Mesa Public Library in Meeting Room 1.