Merced’s youth council seeks teens

With seats open and the first meeting set, the Merced Youth Council is asking for applications from interested teenagers who live in town and want to serve on the advisory board.

The Merced City Council made the Youth Council official at a meeting in August. The members of the Youth Council are expected to pay attention to City Council agendas and meetings for items of interest to youths in Merced, work with the City Council to meet the needs of young people and act as a liaison between them and the city’s elected officials.

The Youth Council gets its members from three districts in the city, with Bear Creek and Highway 99 serving as the dividing lines; one member will be appointed from the city as a whole.

There are four youths sitting on the council, so there are three open seats, one for a representative from north Merced and two from central Merced.

The four sitting members were on the youth task force, which helped design the Youth Council as well as its duties and requirements. Those four are high school students Katrina Kasper, chairman; Robby Huddleston, vice chairman; Linda Moua, secretary; and Guadalupe Aleman, publicist.

The sitting Youth Council will interview applicants and appoint members to the open seats.

The appointment is a two-year term, and each member can serve a maximum of two terms. After the first year of service, members will be reviewed by their peers.

Members are expected to poll young people and hold assemblies to gauge their needs and desires. The members must live in Merced and be between age 13 and 19.

The Youth Council will hold regular monthly meetings. Members can expect to spend about eight hours a month on council duties.

The first meeting of the council is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Sam Pipes Room of City Hall, 678 W. 18th St. At that meeting, the Youth Council is expected to set a deadline for applications.

The applications to join the Youth Council can be found at Merced high schools or at