New Bethlehem Borough Council recently approved Resolution 2018-1 to start a Junior Council Person program.
The Junior Council Person (JCP) Program is a statewide initiative from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs that aims to get young people involved in their local communities. It allows for youth to take an active role in the governing process of their municipalities and brings a young, fresh perspective to councils across the state.
While the JCP does not have an official vote on council, he or she does have a voice and an official seat at the table. It is a mutually beneficial relationship for both the borough officials and the youth. It also allows borough officials to serve as mentors to students who will be future leaders in their communities.
The New Bethlehem Borough JCP Program will allow high school students the opportunity to learn critical skills including team building and collaboration, public speaking, public engagement, budgeting, and running effective meetings. It also will allow the student the opportunity to deliberate on issues that are affecting his or her community.
New Bethlehem Borough’s JCP Program guidelines include:
- JCPs should be a borough resident.
- Boroughs can have more than one JCP serving at a time.
- Junior and Senior High School students are encouraged to apply.
- Students should write a letter of interest to borough council outlining why they want to be a JCP.
- An interview process with council members will occur.
- Once selected, the JCP should take the “Junior Council Person Pledge.”
- JCPs may be appointed to one-or two-year terms.
- Attendance should be required at monthly meetings.
- A Junior Council Person shall not receive compensation.
- JCPs should be seated with council, participate in borough business, and observe all council rules.
- JCPs cannot vote or participate in executive session.
- Attendance at budget sessions, committee meetings, public hearings, and community events is encouraged.
- A Junior Council Person shall serve at the pleasure of Council and may be removed at any time, for any reason, at the discretion of Council.
- To earn the Distinguished JCP Award, the student should serve for a minimum of six months, having attended a majority of council meetings.
For questions or more info, please call 814.275.2003 or visit: NewBethlehemBoro.com/contact