Youth mayor program scrapped

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Program cut: Former youth mayors Gerard Felipe and Aaron Quarrell. Picture: Supplied

THE youth mayor program at Frankston Council has been given the chop.

The program ran for less than two years. Gerard Felipe was appointed the inaugural youth mayor in early 2018, and completed a one year term. The second youth mayor Aaron Quarrell resigned four months into his term.

At council’s most recent meeting, councillors voted to discontinue the program.

Cr Brian Cunial supported scrapping the program, calling it a “complete and utter waste of time.”

Cr Quinn McCormack said that the program should be scrapped because it has “no real benefit to council”.

“The role has resulted in more negatives than positives,” she said. She said that the work done by youth council had proved much more positive.

Cr Kris Bolam said that abolishing the program would be a “shocking indictment on young people.”

“Just last month we voted to continue [the program], now a month later we’re voting to take it away,” he said. “People complain that young people don’t get engaged. (…) It would be a damn shame to take this away.”

Crs Glenn Aitken, Kris Bolam, and Lillian O’Connor supported keeping the program, and Crs Cunial, McCormack, Sandra Mayer, and Michael O’Reilly voted to scrap it.

Councillors had begun the discussion by debating the merit of lowering the age bracket for the program down to 12 years old, before an alternate motion was moved to abolish it entirely. Just three weeks earlier, council had debated the merits of the program behind closed doors and not voted to discontinue it.

First published in the Frankston Times – 7 October 2019

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One thought on “Youth mayor program scrapped

  1. School Captains Conference of Frankston (SCCF) Tuesday 15 October 2019 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Cr. McCormack’s statement that more negatives prevailed than positives is because councillor’s who recently voted against the Youth Mayor Program weren’t expecting someone who would genuinely follow through their words with action. Former Youth Mayor Gerard Felipe candidly advocated, and (on many occasions) bravely fought against internal politics happening at Frankston City Council.

    He effectively stood up for the concerns and interests of young people in the local community, and we are proud to have supported him during his entire term in 2018. Like Cr. McCormack said, the Youth Mayor Program has “no real benefit to council”, especially because it strongly goes against the in-fighting and scandalous nature at Frankston City Council. No wonder a large number of people in the local community want the entire council to be sacked!

    We find Councillor McCormack’s and Councillor Cunial’s statements highly insulting and de-grading to young people wanting take part, and engage in civics and citizenship. But, it’s great to see the true colours of some councillor’s coming out for the general public to see. This will be highly reflective in next years’ local council elections, and the results will be a major victory for community-minded locals when such councillors’ are no longer in office.

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