Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that he has sponsored legislation to allow high school seniors to serve as non-voting members of a village board. The measure is modeled after legislation Senator LaValle had enacted several years ago allowing students to participate as non-voting members of school boards.
"Villages should consider the perspective of all stakeholders if they wish to gain the support of the community they serve," said Senator LaValle. "Students who are active in the community demonstrate a genuine concern for improving their local quality of life and can provide a fresh outlook to the decision-making process that will ultimately result in policies that impact resident’s daily lives."
According to Senator LaValle, the law he sponsored will give villages the option to allow a senior high school student to participate in meetings of the board, ask questions of those making presentations, and express their views with regard to proposals that come before the board. The appointment would be for a one year term and the student's participation would be limited in that he or she would not have a vote.
“I commend Senator LaValle for his foresight in recognizing that today’s policies can only be relevant with tomorrow’s voices. Together, we can work to ensure the prosperity of New York State and create policies that include all stakeholders starting at the local level. The Youth Council looks forward to continuing its partnership with Senator LaValle in advancing this and other progressive ideas,” said Michael J. Tessler, President, Youth Council of Greater Port Jefferson.
"Student contributions have proven to be of significant value to local school districts, the State University of New York and City University of New York Board of Trustees, and the Higher Education Services Board of Directors," said Senator LaValle. "I am certain that local villages would also benefit if they had the opportunity for student participation on their boards."