(Bel Air, MD – November 18, 2008) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig today announced plans for the re-establishment of a Youth Commission. A bill to repeal and reenact with amendments Chapter 9 of the Harford County Code to establish a Youth Commission was introduced by County Council President Billy Boniface on October 21, 2008.
The re-establishment of the youth commission follows a recent series of meetings coordinated by the YMCA of Harford County that brought youth program providers and organizers together to discuss the state of Harford County’s Youth.
The proposed Harford County Youth Commission will be comprised of 21 members appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. Members of the Commission shall include the Sheriff of Harford County or his designee; a representative from the Board of Education; a representative from the Harford County Department of Community Services, Office of Drug Control Policy; a representative from the Harford County Local Management Board; twelve members who represent organizations that provide youth services or programs oriented to Harford County’s youth; six representatives who are county residents under 18 years of age, one from each of the County Council districts and one citizen representative.
Commenting on the reestablishment of the Harford County Youth Commission, County Executive Craig stated, “The reestablishment of our Youth Commission is vital to our success in providing resources and smart choices for today’s youth. Our youth is our most valuable resource, we must ensure that they are presented with opportunities to excel and grow.” Craig remarked.
The Youth Commission will help advise the County Executive and other county officials on the overall status of Harford County’s youth population, and make recommendations on how the county can better provide for youth needs.
The purpose of the Youth Commission includes, but is not limited to the following:
– To stimulate the full development of the present county youth organizations, programs and facilities.
– To identify the needs of our youth and present them with opportunities and alternatives which may have a positive impact on their lives.
– To design programs and activities through community organizations, local schools and county government that encourages parents and families to engage in the lives of their youth on a daily basis.
– To advise local and county officials as to matters relating to youth.
The Youth Commission will also apply for grants from the state, county or federal government, as well as outside foundations and other entities allowed by law to support their mission and purpose.
Among the county officials supporting the reestablishment of the Harford County Youth Commission are the Honorable Mimi Raffel Cooper, Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly, Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane, members of the Harford County Council and members of the business community.