City seeks youth members
Applications accepted for students wishing to see an advisory board up close
Most people know community members staff Lake Oswego city advisory boards, but it may be less common knowledge that some board members are students.
Youth members dont vote on the advisory boards they serve but offer insight, attend meetings and take on special projects and duties. Last week, the city began taking youth member applications and will accept them through Aug. 15.
In September, Lake Oswego City Council will appoint youth members, one each to: the Historic Resources Advisory Board, the Library Advisory Board, the Natural Resources Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Transportation Advisory Board. The council appoints two youth members to the Sustainability Advisory Board. Students rate the boards on importance in an application but do not get to choose where they are placed for their year-long appointment. Applicants must be sophomores or juniors.
Lakeridge High School senior Anisha Adke, also a columnist for The Review, is finishing her second term on the Library Advisory Board. Adke wanted to get on that particular board and was thrilled to be appointed, saying shes enjoyed serving as a representative for her group at events. Shes learned that the library serves as a hub, offering activities and hosting functions.
Its not just a place with books: Its a community place, she said.
Jacob Rappaport joined the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board last fall and said he loves green spaces and wants to do what he can to preserve them.
As a board member I have learned that city administrative work is hard: Not everything can be accomplished at the same time, and some issues are just hard to resolve, said Rappaport, a junior at Lake Oswego High School. Sometimes its real hard to decide what should come first: priorities need to be set, not everybody agrees on the best strategies and compromises are often needed.
Historic Resources Advisory Board (HRAB) Youth Member Dylan Oster said hes learned a good deal from the experience and plans to apply again. Hes engaged by the issues surrounding historical structures, and there are many opinions on some projects.
Some of these processes can take a long time to get through, and not everyone will be happy, said Oster, a sophomore at Lakeridge High School.
One of his projects was helping to find a historically accurate form of architectural embellishment for a house at Luscher Farm.
Ive learned that old houses have a lot more than meets the eye with keeping them up, he said.
Associate planner Paul Espe, city staff liaison for HRAB, said Oster attends every meeting he can and is enthusiastic. Espe said being a youth member is a great opportunity for students to learn about city government.
I think its a really great way for kids to get involved with something that would normally be exclusively an adult activity, he said.
HRAB Chairwoman Kasey Holwerda said students should attend a meeting before applying, so they know what theyll be participating in or they should at least read an agenda to see what issues a board discusses, and, once a student becomes a member, he or she should regularly attend meetings and participate in discussions.
I think that the people that are willing to jump in and take on a project are going to get a lot more out of the experience than the people that just sit in the meetings and dont participate, Holwerda said.
How to apply
For an application, visit ci.oswego.or.us/boc/webforms/youth-member-advisory-board-application.