City Council Meeting Focuses on Youth

Children were the focus of a Westlake Village City Council meeting that included a discussion of recreational opportunities for youth, as well as ways to get young people involved in the community.

Council members set nine goals for themselves and city staff at the meeting Wednesday night. Issues ranged from budgetary matters to new technology.

But the real winners were the children.

"Too often, cities become the bad guys," said Mayor Doug Yarrow. "They ban skateboarding, they come up with truancy ordinances. Well, the opposite of that is what can we do for them. We owe it to our youth."

A larger, sports-friendly park was the first issue of discussion. The council agreed to try to purchase a parcel of land on Lindero Canyon Road that could be used to create a park of about 12 acres.

Council members said they may enlist sports organizations--those that have been clamoring for a new park--in the city's fund-raising effort. The city will also pursue other funding avenues.

The council also decided to form a Youth Task Force that will develop youth programs--now that the city's financial picture has improved enough to allow for new youth services.

Council members agreed that the task force should include youths.

"We only have kids for a short time," said Councilwoman Betty De Santis. "We need to get their enthusiasm and their ideas and do something with them, so they don't go away saying, 'Well, I tried, but nobody did anything for me.' "

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