No-show youth sacked
South Waikato District Council has removed five youth councillors from the organisation.
A letter which was signed by mayor Neil Sinclair was sent informing youth councillors of a meeting (August 15) outlining that if they did not attend, the council would assume they no longer wanted to be a member of the Youth Council.
Subsequently five youth councillors did not attend the meeting and were notified they will be replaced.
During a recent council meeting Mr Sinclair said: ‘‘Staff came and said they were concerned. I don’t know whether it was a lack of direction, lack of inspiration, or not knowing what they were there for.’’
Councillor Barrie Herlihy said ‘‘my feeling was that some didn’t fulfil their obligations, didn’t put an apology in, etc. And I would say that would really be the answer, just young people not realising their obligation. I think most of them feel quite positive about the Youth Council.’’
But councillor Jenny Shattock suggested that discussions be held in future around the concept’s continuation.
‘‘It’s something that needs to be looked at, [at] budget time and have a good discussion on if we continue with it.
‘‘ When it first started it went extremely well for the first couple of years. That’s a shame too as it is very good for them,’’ she said.
Community development manager Amanda Hema said advertising for the vacant positions has begun with five applications being received.
Mrs Hema said all efforts were made to talk to the former youth councillors.
‘‘Staff email, phone, text and write letters; even trying to communicate through their nominating organisation; only then do we escalate to His Worship the Mayor . . . So as to the reason for lack of engagement it’s difficult for staff to ascertain; however we suspect that overcommitment is a key issue.’’