Should Teenagers Have Power To Allocate City Funds?

In February, the city council appointed an ad hoc committee to study potential reforms for city commissions, especially the fledgling Youth Commission, which has been plagued by meeting cancellations and commissioner absenteeism since its formation in 2017.

During its 2017-2018 term, 44% of Youth Commission meetings were cancelled because not enough commissioners showed up to form a quorum. The situation has worsened during the 2018-2019 term: every Youth Commission meeting from November through June was cancelled due to insufficient attendance by commissioners. That’s an 80% cancellation rate.

Currently, the Youth Commission is comprised of 21 members within the following age brackets: 14-17, 18- 21 and 22-26.

The ad hoc committee – comprised of Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring and Councilmembers Jordan Brandman and Jose Moreno – have made the common sense recommendation of eliminating the 22-26 age bracket and reducing the number of commissioners to 14.

The committee further recommends the mayor and each council member either nominate one commissioner from each of the 14-17 and 18-21 age brackets, or two commissioners from a single 14-21 age bracket.

So far, so good.

However, according to the staff report, Councilmembers Brandman and Moreno proposed handing the Youth Commission the power to allocate city funds:

Funding: Provide the commission with funding and create a program that allows the Youth Commission to evaluate and allocate funding to a local non-profit or school program that benefits the youth of Anaheim (recommended by Council Members Brandman and Moreno).

This is a bad idea.

It’s one thing to establish a Youth Commission in order to advise the City Council on issues and matters related to Anaheim youth.

But giving teenagers access to the city’s checkbook? At least half of the newly-fangled Youth Commission will be minors. Regardless of how enthusiastic, sincere and public-spirited they are, it is unwise to authorize a body of unelected teenagers to dole out public money to applicants. Should the Youth Commission be given the power of the purse when simply holding meetings has proven too big a challenge?

The city council would be prudent to shelve that recommendation.

9 comments

  1. Terrible idea! They are not responsible enough to attend meetings, why would Brandman and Moreno give them the City check book? Who voted for these clowns? 🤡 The Youth Commission sounds like a good idea however it’s obviously not working. It’s time to get rid of it, save the City Staff time and resources.

  2. Stupid idea.
    But look at who’s behind it.

  3. Pablo Solorzano

    Anaheim is a complete money hungry sell out ive lived in this city for most of my life and ive seen how much it has changed alot of buildings torn down and alot of remodeling but only to build upper class town homes and to get rid of homeless people other than to build afordable housing your taking away and instead of dealing with the homeless the city kicks them out of parks and makes a dog park how sad to treat animals better than other human beings its always about the money and image.

  4. So some fool over at the ORANGE JUICE BLOG, seems to be filling in for Vern, “Fingal O’Flahertie”.

    Funny how the supposed purveyors of truth and honesty have a (GASP) anonymous poster calling people names and writing BLANTANT lies. But then again look at who the past five or six commenters were and it makes sense, the clown call running in circles.

  5. Last writer missed point of the question completely.yes, teenagers should have a right to recommend needs. Should not have right to check book. 14-20. In age for commission members. However if the attendance record continue s to be as bad, drop it. Teenagers do have transportation issues which might be an attendance issue. Hope they can figure it out. Let the teens speak and then listen to them

  6. It is sad to see the older generation speak so little of the younger generation how can you speak on someone’s behalf and say they are not equipped to have such responsibility and calling children clowns? You are the clowns. Children are taught to have a voice to fight for something or you’ll fall for anything. The youth are taught to have a strong mindset and take lead on certain actions. Youth these days can out smart and be more professional then most adults these days that have alot of years on them. The difference between youth and adults is that they age faster mentally while adults age faster physically.

    • I didn’t see anyone referring to the members of the Children’s Commission as ‘Clowns’. The person posting under the name ‘Resident’ was referring to Council Members Brandman and Moreno. The person posting under the name ‘whoiscater’ was referring to an author that started writing stories for the Orange Juice Blog.

      • I believe “WHOISCATER” was referring to one of the members of Vern’s Anaheim Democratic Club, who openly spoke at a recent meeting, where Anaheim Council Member Jose Moreno and AUSD Board members were present as “Fingal O’Flahertie” and other spoke openly about attacking Disneyland, Disney guests and Star Wars land.

        This is half of the same couple who run the STOP DISNEY Facebook page and repeatedly have talked about casing DTD.

        Radicals, with NO money and too much time on their hands

  7. Yes because giving kids and millennials any responsibility is a great idea. Anaheim needs to pull their heads out.

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