Youth and seniors have council’s ear now

Russell Township council will have more planning help in 2020 with the creation of two new advisory committees.

One of the last items of business before the Christmas break for council, during its December 16 session, was to approve plans for creating advisory committees to represent Russell Township’s youth and senior’s sectors. The first step was to amend the bylaw dealing with council’s advisory committees, to allow creation of the two new committees.

“Earlier in the mandate of this new council,” stated an administration report, “the mayor had made reference to the potential creation of these two committees. As per our demographic indications, we have a high number of teens and seniors in our community. The creation of these committees would allow council and the municipal administration to be better able to identify and grasp their concerns and needs so that policies, practices, programs, bylaws, etc., can be renewed and/or drafted accordingly.”

Administration will reach out to local high schools and the senior community to get nominations of potential candidates to sit on the new committees. The 11-member Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) will include three members, each from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, Russell High School, and École secondaire catholique Embrun, along with two council representatives. The nine-member Seniors Advisory Committee (SAC) will include seven members selected from candidates from the senior community, along with two council representatives.

Both committees will provide council with advice and recommendations on issues dealing with public safety, accessibility, special projects and programs, recreation, transportation, and any other issues affecting the groups they represent.

TAC will also be responsible for organizing an annual public Teenmatters Forum, which will provide local youth a chance to present youth issues and concerns for discussion and comment.