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City youth committee takes first steps

It’s still in the early stages, but several local teens and adults have begun to form a youth committee for the purpose of organizing regular events for kids in the City of Amsterdam, as well as advocating for youth-related issues with the city government. A group of seven met last Thursday at the Amsterdam Free Library to discuss possibilities, goals, and to plan their next steps.

High school student Phillip Tambasco and Michael Rich, both of whom have volunteered their time at Amsterdam City Hall to work the camera system, said they initiated the idea after talking together and seeing a need for an increased voice for young people in city government. Both are already active in the community, Tambasco volunteering his time with the Historic Amsterdam League, and Rich with the Wishful Thinking Foundation.

The three other high school students at the meeting also voiced their motivations for wanting to help with the effort.

Michael Machold said he wants to “provide more opportunities for the youth of Amsterdam.”

Paige Bertuch said she hopes to “get the youth involved with the community.”

Sullivan Fitz-James would like to “give the kids a better way to spend their energy.”

Fifth Ward Alderman Rich Leggiero said he was willing to serve as liaison between the group and the Common Council. Besides giving the group some practical advice, Leggiero said he also sees a need for more activities for youth in the city, partially as a way to keep them “out of trouble.”

John Sumpter of Wishful Thinking Foundation also joined the meeting and offered organizational support from the foundation. Sumpter challenged the group to define their immediate goals as well as to focus on recruiting more people to help.

The group discussed a variety of ideas for events and how to proceed. Rich suggested holding a youth fair in the downtown area. Tambasco would like to see the amphitheater at Sassafras park restored. Sumpter talked about advocating for a indoor recreational center at Veteran’s Field. Fitz-James suggested reaching out to the local Boy Scout troops for help. Bertuch suggested meeting with the Amsterdam High School principal.

Toward the end of the meeting, the group discussed future meeting dates. Sumpter also suggested the group take a gradual approach to growth.

“Small steps, crawl before you walk, and this will become a prosperous group,” said Sumpter.


About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

One Response to City youth committee takes first steps

  1. While this is a great start, we have a Recreation Committee that is mandated by the city charter to provide this service. Instead of working around the problem, which the city often does, why not address it directly?
    The Recreation Commission shall:
    A. Conduct and supervise all recreation activities in all public parks and recreational areas and facilities excepting for the organization and operation of the Arthur Carter Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course which facility may be organized and operated by the adoption of an ordinance as provided for herein. Be responsible for planning and putting into operation measures for promoting and conducting recreational activities in connection therewith and for coordinating constructive forces to aid in the development of the youth of the community.
    [Amended 7-3-1984 by L.L. No. 2-1984, ref. date]
    B. Be responsible for planning and putting into operation programs providing for leisure time activities of adults, including but not limited to programs for senior citizens.
    C. Charge and collect for the recreational use of City facilities a reasonable fee or admission charge, provided that such fees or admission has been authorized by action of the Common Council. The Recreation Director shall account for and deposit promptly all such collections in the Office of the Controller.