Let’s start with our schools. I’ve had the opportunity to work with two different Camas Schools Superintendents through Rotary. It strikes me that our schools and city still don’t work that closely together: There’s much each could bring to the table to improve both our government and schools! Camas schools are also a major landowner of Camas. School properties can be important in fulfilling the needs of both the schools and the city.
The Creation of a Youth Council
Camas continues to fracture into groups that often seem to spend more time sparring than talking about common issues and how to solve them. According to a recently completed survey done for the city, more Camasonians are dissatisfied than satisfied with the “level of public involvement in decision-making.” That should be shocking to the small, friendly city we wish to be. How can we move those numbers to where they should be?
Let’s start with our schools. Why not a Camas Youth Council? We could provide an opportunity for a representative group of students to study city problems, gather information, get opinions, and then recommend something before the City Council for discussion. Why not have the input from soon-to-be residents about their vision for future Camas? So many foundational opportunities are coming. What a way to open our government to greater involvement!
I had the privilege of mentoring, then being a judge for Odyssey Middle School’s Salmon Recovery Project. Observing and providing suggestions to groups engineering solutions and devising campaigns showed me how talented our 7th grade students are. Why not work with the schools to develop a Youth Council? I bet there are many volunteers with their hands up for a chance.