This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Put to task
Remember the meeting on youth delinquency prevention that Mayor Tom Tomzak held two weeks ago?
As a result of that, Tomzak last night proposed that the council form a “Youth Delinquency Prevention and Early Intervention Task Force” to try to get the city’s percentage of at-risk youth below the state average (right now it’s 28 percent, well above that average).
This council has been prolific in creating task forces and committees. Tomzak had his downtown advisory group last fall, Matt Kelly reactivated the Historic Preservation Task Force, Debby Girvan reactivated and renamed the Beautification Commission and Kerry Devine and George Solley recently got council’s nod on a riverfront task force.
You’ll read more about Tomzak’s youth task force in next Tuesday’s Spotsylvania and City Extra section, but here are a few of the mayor’s words from last night’s meeting:
“The name has been pointed out to be a little pejorative and polarizing, but the fact of the matter is, we do have a delinquency problem in this community.”
He said one goal of the group is to boost fundraising and volunteer recruitment for youth-serving organizations, adding that, “I think it’s time for this community to start getting in a lot of people’s faces,” and that he hopes to find 50-70 adults in the community who will “drop the remote control” and start spending time mentoring at-risk kids.
Another goal is encouraging responsible fatherhood and parenting. “More and more men in our community ought to be called on the carpet,” Tomzak said. “We have a right to demand responsibility from the parents. … We do not have to tolerate bad behavior any longer.”