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Grand Forks council looks to add youth representative

Grand Forks will look to add a youth component to its government.

City council agreed today to start on terms of reference for a youth representative and how the candidate would be selected.

Coun. Zak Eburne-Stoodley says the idea came from mentoring with the local high school, which he has done for three years.

“It would be a good idea to have some sort of regular communication with people in that age group. We get all sorts of different input from other age groups but it seems the youth are the ones that we don’t really engage in much or seem to have much input,” Eburne-Stoodley said.

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He and Coun. David Mark are the youngest members of council.

Eburne-Stoodley says local youth have “some great ideas” and many are “fairly doable.”

“This would help give them a little bit of a voice,” he said.

A youth council representative would participate in council meetings periodically and could ask questions and provide comment but wouldn’t be able to vote as he or she is not an elected member of council.

Mayor Everett Baker says the position meets a strategic plan goal.

He adds the position would provide “feedback from a side of our community a lot of us are removed from now at our age.”

City staff are now tasked with coming up with the terms of reference, which will come to a future council meeting.

During Monday’s meeting, Eburne-Stoodley was also appointed the council’s youth liaison.

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