Friday, September 27, 2013

Town Hall Meeting for Students: Wednesday, Oct. 9

The County Council, which for the past several years has held Town Hall Meetings throughout the County in its efforts to find out what issues most concern residents, will learn what is on the mind of younger residents when it hosts its fourth-ever Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting, in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, will start at 7 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria.

The meeting is open to high school and middle school students from public and private schools from around the County and to students from local colleges. The meeting will allow the participants to let Councilmembers know how they feel about specific issues and also will provide the opportunity to ask questions of the Councilmembers in an organized, but informal, setting.

The Council Office Building is located at 100 Maryland Ave. in downtown Rockville. It is about a three-block walk from the Rockville Metrorail station, which also is a main stopping point for many RideOn bus lines. For students traveling to the meeting by car, free parking will be available by entering the Council parking garage from the Fleet Street entrance.

Students who wish to attend the meeting are asked to RSVP by calling 240-777-7931. The meeting will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery (CCM—cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and rebroadcast at various times in the weeks following the meeting. Susan Kenedy, a producer for the County station, will moderate the meeting.

Council President Nancy Navarro said that the youth town hall meetings have become learning experiences for both the Councilmembers and the students.

“The County Council funds the school system and many other programs which have a direct impact on our county's youth, and this meeting is an invaluable opportunity to hear directly from them,” said Council President Navarro. “In the past, feedback from our youth has led us to restore the Kids Ride Free program on Ride On, launch the Teen Escape Clubs, and begin many other important initiatives. We gain a unique perspective on the needs of our young residents, and we always take their feedback seriously."

Council Vice President Rice, who is a member of the Council’s Education Committee, said that hearing the perspectives of students is a great opportunity for Councilmembers.

“So many major decisions concerning education—and students—are made by adults talking with other adults,” said Council Vice President Craig Rice. “But the students often have so much to offer that adults do not necessarily see. We are looking forward to learning about how they see the issues we are discussing and to hearing from them about new things they would like to see us consider.”