To the editor:
It is time to establish a non-voting city council seat representing the young people of Bainbridge Island.
From traveling around this wonderful place and talking with many people of all ages, it rapidly becomes clear that a major communications gap exists between the younger folks and those who make the rules for the community. The seat I hope can be created would be filled by someone between the ages of 18 and 21, eligible to vote and close enough to those who need a voice if not a vote when decisions are taken by the council.
More often than not what we hear concerns about youth problems with occasional recognition of some of the really outstanding accomplishments of our young people. What we also hear is that there is so little for teenagers to do with their time, perhaps the precursor to why so many move away to seek opportunity elsewhere after high school.
It should not take a long discourse on logic to know the time has come for this important step. All candidates now running for election should be quizzed about their reactions to this proposal, and the eventual primary winners should be ardently promoted to support such a step at the earliest possible moment.
Failure to act will only further reduce the sense of reliance our young people have that they can be heard and that they can influence the future of our city. The action will be an investment that will pay dividends for all of us.
Finally, if anyone had to ask, I’m a white-haired grandfather who knows the young folks will be here longer than most of my chronological peers.
JOSEPH J. HONICK