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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 9:01 A.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL Mayor Csordas, Mayor ProTem Landry, Council Members: Capello-absent, Gatt, Lorenzo-absent, Nagy-absent, and Paul
Member Capello arrived at 9:06 A.M.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-05-09-289 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as presented.
Motion passed by voice vote.
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
To interview candidates for appointment to the Youth Council and Student Representatives on Boards and Commissions.
Ms. Maley said she applied for a position on Novi Youth Council because she thought it would be an interesting experience. She said she couldnít vote or participate in government because she is under the age of 18 but she has a strong interest in government nonetheless. She has taken advanced placement government at school along with a course in government at Georgetown University a year ago. She would like the opportunity to have an impact and to express her thoughts as a youth member towards the City. Ms. Maley thought she would be a good candidate because she does a lot of public speaking activities. She is Captain of the Debate Team, Vice President of Model United Nations, Secretary of Teen Court at school. She felt Model United Nations gave her an interesting insight towards the City Council position because it has given her a lot of exposure to parliamentary procedures, which she has used to lead meetings. Ms. Maley said debate has given her a very good ability to express herself persuasively and she didnít feel nervous speaking in front of people. Debate helped her articulate her points and give good reasons for why she wanted to do certain things.
Member Paul asked that Council ask each candidate if they would prefer to be involved in the Health Council with Providence. We were going to take whoever isnít selected and offer them the Health Council. Mayor Csordas said they would address that at another time.
Ms. Gray felt she would be a good candidate because the position requires numerous skills such as: responsibility, organization, dedication and leadership. She felt she had all of these skills, could apply them, and could be a bridge between youth and the Novi leaders. Being minors they donít have much of a say and sometimes they do have things to say that are important and matter. Those things need to be said in a strong voice. She belonged to the Debate Team and participates in theatre at the high school and felt she could state Novi youths opinions strongly and confidently. She has learned to look at both sides of an issue and to accept other opinions, which would be important for this position. Ms. Gray said she appreciates Novi and would like to give back to the community that has given so much to her. She would like to expand her skills and become a productive member of society, and being a Novi citizen there are civic duties that need to be fulfilled and this could help her do that. This is an amazing opportunity to help her peers and give them more opportunity to be heard in the City of Novi.
Ms. Kohl stated she has many opinions and is not afraid to voice them. She is on the forensics team, debate team, drama and theater. Even though she is very opinionated she is also very open-minded and if the argument is persuasive her opinion could be changed. She would like to become more active in her community because Novi is such a great city and she would like to give back something. She has also been a part of the Teen Court. Her goal is to improve her knowledge of her cityís government and the best way to do that is to learn hands on by interacting with the community. Any position on the board would be great and she felt she would benefit from any position. Ms. Kohl would like to learn and develop her voice as a Novi community member and work in harmony with other people to make a great product. She wants to learn more and hoped she would be considered a worthy candidate for this position.
Mr. Drafta said he has attended Novi Public Schools until last year and now attends Catholic Central High School in Novi and could provide the unique perspective of youths in both high schools. He supports diverse recreation programs and currently holds the title of Master Archer in the Junior Olympic Archery Development Program. Mr. Drafta also supports cultural activities and has performed with Novi theaters and participated in the Michigan State Fair winning awards including Best of Show. He believed that volunteering builds character and is the right thing to do. By serving on the Novi Youth Council he would be following in footsteps of grandfather, Eugene Drafta, who volunteers at Providence Hospital and the Novi Fifties Festival. He has assisted at funeral lunches through his church and worked at a soup kitchen in Detroit. He has raised money for local charities, helped with the set up of the Fifties Festival, building of the Tim Pope Memorial Park and planting of trees at the Arbor Day event. He is willing and eager to be part of seeing that the Novi remains a great place to live. Leadership and dedication of local residents like Nancy Cassis have inspired him to do more. He would like adults and youth to be able to have a better understanding of each others concerns and learn to see things from others perspective.
Mr. George is a sophomore at Detroit Country Day High School. He felt he would be a good candidate because he has the time and energy to put into the City and he cares about helping to better his City. He has lived in many cities in the United States and has seen damaged and healthy cities and has many good ideas such as in the Parks & Recreation program adding more languages because as Novi grows it is becoming more diverse. Also, in the library youth could teach kids how to read. He hoped by serving on the board he could take away excellent experience which would help him in school and in life. Mr. George is also invited to become a student ambassador and would meet with people from other countries and share their countries culture, traditions and government. He felt that being a part of the City Council Board he would learn how government works and therefore learn how a country works, which would help him in his student ambassador program.
Mr. Khan thought he would be an excellent candidate because of his work ethic, personality and concern for the good of the community. He said he completed 100 hours at the Red Cross and thought it was a testament of his willingness to give up his free time. As a blood labeler, his extreme caution and attention to detail was very helpful and critical. Mr. Khan said in his middle school years he received the second place GPA, which is because of his hard work and dedication. Also, because of the clubs and activities he participates in, football, Teen Court and SAD Club, he has also achieved the social skills necessary for this position. He would like to take a leadership role in helping the community to hone his leadership, persuasion, judgment, creativity and ingenuity skills. He would love to help his community and help preserve the prosperity and reputation that our City, school district and public works has.
Mr. Zuo thanked Council for the interview. He said he was born in Switzerland, came to the United States when he was four years old and then moved to Novi in 2001. He felt he was a good candidate with original and creative new ideas that could provide unique solutions to problems Novi faces. He believed geography should be supplanted more into the curriculum of Novi to better represent Novi at the Geography Bee. He thought he had a broad spectrum of knowledge by taking trigonometry, english and chemistry and could apply this knowledge at the Novi Youth Council. He is dedicated and has always been an A student. He hoped to gain leadership experience and more charismatic abilities because you never know when you will be asked to standout in a crowd and lead people. Mr. Zuo wanted to gain real life governmental experience and this position would fill that need. He also hoped to gain organizational and social communication abilities from this position. He thought the Youth Council could be involved in organizing events around the community such as International Festival, Fifties Festival, etc. He felt this position would also help his social and communication skills. He thought together as a community they could achieve more working together for a fund raiser, such as Katrina, rather than individuals working by themselves. He suggested Fun Fairs, family picnics or a concert and talent show. Mr. Zuo thought the Youth Council could have a booth at the International Festival on the first of October because they could research and gain understanding about ethnic groups, cultural traditions, etc.
Ms. Ying is a senior at Detroit Country Day High School. She thought that one of her very valuable assets is the diversity she could bring to the Council. She said she is an Asian American and could speak very well for the Asian American population, which accounts for about 10% of the Novi population. She said because of her personal experience and understanding of her culture she can relate their issues, concerns, values and customs for the Council. Also, interacting with other students at Detroit Country Day has helped her understand the process that goes on in other cities. In addition, she has learned through Teen Court how the justice system works and how to evaluate both sides of the evidence before giving a fair sentence. Through Debate she has learned the enormous implications that policy has on peopleís perceptions and their lives. She thought if she could apply those to the real world she could make a huge contribution and it has increased her social and moral responsibility to serve the community through the government. Ms. Ying noted that many of her leadership activities at school helped her gain her personal, communication and organizational skills to work with others. She has learned to work with others to achieve the desired outcome. She would like to influence the opinions of Council. She would like to take this opportunity to promote awareness to her peers to increase their participation in Novi events, elections and voter turnouts. She wanted to learn about planning housing development because through Debate one of their major issues is wondering how much one issue really impacts the lives of people. She would like a first-hand experience regarding that through Council. Ms. Ying said because of her passion for the City she would love to see how much difference she could make in the City.
Mr. OíConnor stated he is a senior at Catholic Central High School. He is on the baseball and wrestling teams, Vice President of Student Council and is used to speaking in public places. He said he cares about Novi and would like to contribute to some of the decisions that affect neighbors and friends. He thought this would be an opportunity to show City Council a different perspective and what Catholic Central students are all about. His goals are to gain quality political experience. He is going to college next year and is thinking about going into political science and would like to find out how City Council works.
Ms. Sullivan is a junior at Novi High School and felt she had many of the key characteristics that the Council is looking for. She enjoys working, problem solving, willing to compromise and takes constructive criticism well. Since she has participated in many simulations and political activities she felt she had a little more background than the average candidate. In 2004 she was selected to take part in the Student Congress, and was introduced to parliamentary procedures and the legislative writing process. She participated in Novi High Schools Presidential mock election in 2004 and she has addressed Council and attended Council meetings. Ms. Sullivan has debate and public speaking skills. These skills are also important on the Debate Team, Teen Court, Student Congress and her AP government class. These experiences are helping her to become the best leader that she can be and will help throughout her life. She is also in the Freshmen Mentor Program, volunteers in a Girl Scout Troop and plans camping trips to leading badge work activities. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a good student and hard worker and would put all her effort into this position. She would like to take away more knowledge of how local government works but being she has the basis of how State government works she would be able to apply that here in Novi.
Mayor Csordas said clearly, the Youth Council had to be moved up to about 30 members.
Ms. Qi felt she would be a good candidate because she has had the background and experience that a lot of the candidates were lacking. She has taken Advanced Placement government and learned a lot about national issues and has had simulations with government issues. She said they learned about political strategies and specifically studied the national institutions. She participated in the National Young Leaders Conference which took place in Washington DC and that gave her a real view of what the government looked like because they met the Senators and Representatives. They talked about how their lives functioned in the government. She also participated in a simulation of the House of Representatives and they were able to pass bills of their own that they wrote and revised and put on the floor for a vote. She is member of Model United Nations, and she learned public speaking skills and how to deal with people that frustrated her but that is real life in politics. She was applying because she wanted to experience the difference between reality and simulated government. If she participates in a real local government the issues will affect her and she will put her heart behind it researching the issues and argue for something that she believes in.
Ms. Fan felt she had the qualities of passion, organization, good grades, and is doing very well in school. She is involved in Model United Nations and wants to learn about American government because she moved to America when she was six and thatís part of the American dream to have freedom in government. She wants to serve her community and take away from this experience knowledge of government and be able to make a difference. She is the type of person who wants to influence others and not only have others influence her. She thought this experience would do that for her.
Ms. Li said she is a senior at Novi High School and as a senior has the ability to look forward to being an adult and expand her horizons. She has been a member of Debate Club, which allows her to look at both sides of many national issues. She has also taken the Advanced Placement Government course and it has allowed her to study
political strategies and use terminologies not normally used. She said this unique experience is different from other candidates that have not participated in Operation Bentley at Albion College. It is basically local government that you simulate by being part of the Council or part of the Planning Commission. Through that experience she has learned how local governments operate and the politics of local government. She would like real world experience with government and has learned parliamentary procedure. She felt passion behind the arguments are missing from her learning experience. She hopes to major in political science next year at a university and wanted to take away the experience of being a part of the Youth Council.
Council recessed at 9:45 A.M. and reconvened at 9:56 A.M.
Ms. Schulhoff felt that she would be a candidate for positions on other boards and commissions because she had done work with other commissions, especially with her church. She has also been on a leadership team as a coordinator between the leadership creating programs and as a peer to the people participating in those programs. She felt she was knowledgeable on how to work well on commissions and what kind of effort and dedication was required by someone who wants to participate. She has shown that dedication through her work with theatre with other school activities and clubs. Ms. Schulhoff noted she went to a leadership conference which helped her improve her skills working with other people and with Councils. She thought that her hopes, optimism and dedication was part of what made her a good candidate because she is willing to do what it took to get works accomplished. Her goal would be to learn even more about how things are run, how they work and what the possibilities are for what can be done. She was especially interested in the Library Board because she felt there were many things that could be done, because she has moved around a lot in her life she had seen how different places accomplish their goals.
Ms. Ozbeki said she goes to a private school, interacts with different people from different cities, reads every section of the newspaper every day, and is well informed of current events. She thought with this knowledge she could bring a lot to the City Council. She wants to become more involved with Novi because she wants to have an idea of how the City operates and how local governments work. Ms. Ozbeki wants to have her say in what goes on, especially the Library because she uses it almost every night during the school year. She likes to be involved and has volunteered at the Northville Library all of last year and believes people should have all the resources they need in a comfortable setting. Ms. Ozbeki said she also works on the school newspaper and is very dedicated.
Mr. Letzseiser stated he understood that objectives of the Youth Council are to make recommendations to the City Council regarding issues that relate to the youth of Novi. Also to serve as a youth ambassador to the City and to encourage and promote the education of youth regarding City government and City participation. He said within these goals Council is looking for a Youth Council to have input on the annual budget, increase voter turnout and to increase volunteerism and participation. He noted he knew the meaning and importance of being a leader, participating and giving back to the community. Mr. Letzseiser has been an active member of the Oakland County Teen Court Program. When he was 14 years old he started his own business, APL Painting and Stenciling Design. He said he paints peopleís addresses on their curb. He has painted over 300 mail boxes in the Chase Farms Subdivision. He said he had to get started August 1st and have a plan to get it done before school, August 31st. He said he knows the meaning of commitment; he was committed to painting the mailboxes, is committed to his school work and to the community. He is an active volunteer in the community and last year recorded over 100 hours of community service. He said for the past few years he has been an usher at Holy Family Church, and in may he was one of 12 students and the only freshman to receive the Oakland County and the Novi Youth Assistance achievement award for volunteering. He said he knows how to work as a team member and is on the Novi Lacrosse team. Mr. Letzseiser hopes to gain a better understanding of Novi government and wants to make a positive change in the City through hard work, dedication and listening to the concerns of the community. He felt that his credentials meet what Council was looking for in a board member. He said he is a hard working leader that can work as a team and will see any job through.
Ms. Hagege said she has been involved in many things including Model United Nations, where you are representing a country and which enables you to see their point of view better. She represented North Korea during the discussion on cloning. While disagreeing with that, she had to argue the point and represent the country. She noted she is a very responsible person and has shown that through her volunteer commitments. She volunteers at Friendship Circle, a place where kids with mental and physical disabilities come so the volunteers can establish friendships with them. It gives the volunteers better perspective of the lives of kids with disabilities. She volunteers with a girl named Marlise as she needs understanding to help her through her anger. Ms. Hagege said she has gained better intuition of peopleís body language and what makes them tick through this experience. She wants to achieve a better understanding of how government works and how everything comes together. If chosen, she would like to get to know more people in Novi since she has only lived here for a year. She would like to see otherís perspectives and not just her own.
Neil Christopher Daksla
Mr. Daksla stated he is a senior at Catholic Central High School and wanted to provide good representation for his school. He said he has qualities that would make him a good candidate because he is very intelligent (ranked #2 in his class), compassionate and has participated in service activities since Middle School where he was part of the National Junior Honors Society. He has also worked in soup kitchens in Detroit and taken many service opportunities in his parish, such as the St. Vincentís clothing drive. In Middle School he also helped make reading cassettes for the blind. He feels it took a lot of hard work to be successful in school and especially be adaptable, due to the fact he is a child of military parents and has had the experience of living in different places
and meeting new people all the time. Mr. Daksla hopes to take away from this experience is leadership skills which he thinks is extremely important in society today and to learn more about how city government works.
Mr. Yechoor is a junior at Novi High School and is thankful to have the opportunity to interview for the City of Novi Youth Council. He is happy to see that the City Council has passed resolutions to include the younger generation into the decision making process and letting their views be heard. He feels that every generation should leave their own impact on society and not rest upon the achievements of the previous generation. He feels he is very qualified because he is outspoken, not afraid to let his views be heard, and not afraid to ask questions in a meeting setting. Mr. Yechoor is well-rounded, has a 4.0 GPA and actively participates in sports. He is also Vice President of Quiz Bowl, part of Student Council representing his class and part of the National Honors Society. He had the opportunity, this past summer, to represent Novi in the student Leadership Conference and he hopes to translate the leadership qualities he gained there into this position here. Novi is a multi-ethnic community and should have various races and genders to accurately represent the population included into the decision making process. Mr.Yechoorís goals are to pursue a future career in government so he can gain experience learning the ins and outs of government and in the future maybe run for public office. He is also passionate not only for himself but for an opportunity to give back to the community which has given so much to him.
Mr. Jodoin stated he was interested in the Beautification Commission. He said despite his age he has many experiences that make him uniquely qualified. As a Novi High School KVC representative he demonstrates his ability to communicate with his peers. He is one of three student representatives on the school districts long range planning commission and he shared his ideas with business leaders, school administrators and various community leaders. He said he owns CJís Lawn Service LLC and recognizes the importance of maintaining and preserving the beauty of our neighborhoods. As a member of the Northville Fire Departments Explorer Scouts he has shown his desire to give back to the community and help its citizens. He said his recent experience as a member of the Novi High School World Championship Robotics Team defines him as an enthusiastic leader and team player. He said he hoped these experiences and many more make him a strong candidate for this position. Mr. Jodoin goal is to take a more proactive approach to environmental issues facing the City and watersheds. His ultimate goal is to expand the beautiful half-mile in front of Civic Center to include all of beautiful Novi.
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius to have someone prepare a spread sheet showing all these people with room for comments along the side.
Ms. Song has leadership experience being on the Debate team, President of the French club and feels she has strong qualities of leadership. She is interested in government procedures and she would apply it to her future. She has lived in Novi a long time. She would like to approve the appearance of Novi especially since she noticed the run down houses on Grand River between Novi and Beck Roads. She would like to have a recreational center for the purpose of multipurpose activities and multi-cultural activities like they have in Troy. Most teenagers go to the mall or Fountain walk and she would like a teen center possibly located on Grand River. It would be great for the commercial aspect of Novi and an all purpose place for the teens in a safe environment. Mayor Csordas asked how we would pay for a new community center. She felt people would step up and be a part of that. If it were proposed, kids at Novi High school would come together to support it.
Mr. Bolz is a sophomore at Catholic Central High School. He has done lots of community service work through his school and is interested in getting more involved with this community. He is also interested learning how government works mainly because his curiosity was sparked by seeing current events and news on television. He feels he would be good for the job of Youth Council due to the fact that he listens well, takes in thoughts and applies them to try to get a conclusion that would best fit the question. He has a 4.3 GPA at Catholic Central High School and has achieved this by dedicating himself to his studies. He is also interested in gaining experience working with other people that have succeeded in their careers by being elected to public office.
Ms. Liang was intrigued by the idea when she first heard about the Youth Council and felt it was a good plan to try to incorporate more of the Youth of Novi into the community and civic involvement. She feels it is important for the future generation to get into the decision making process early on so they can become involved in solving problems and not just feeling helpless. She feels she would be great for this position because she is a responsible student, very dedicated to her academic performance but also involved in extra-curricular activities and sports. She currently has a 4.0 GPA and involved in various clubs such as Model United Nations, Teen Court and the Science Club. Also, she is very involved in volunteering her time in community activities such as a Halloween Party held in the Civic Center and the corn maze at Maybury State Farm. Over the summer, she volunteered at University of Michigan in the laboratory of a UM Professor called Dr. Sanford. She is very dedicated to giving back and working for the common good because in todayís society a person needs to learn to cooperate with others to build a better future and better community for everyone. She believes that if she was accepted into the Novi Youth Council she thinks she could take a lot of knowledge with her because she feels community involvement is important for everyone not only those people who plan to go into Politics. For example, medicine and teaching because it teaches you how to work with people and increasing your people skill. The school can only teach so much when you enter the real world it gives you a better transition. She has noticed some of her peers were overwhelmed when they went to college because they werenít used to having all the responsibility heaped on them seemingly suddenly. She feels being a participant would facilitate this transition and ease it along better because community service requires a lot of responsibility. She is interested in working with other people, gaining knowledge of the world outside the school and community.
Mr. Czekaj is currently a junior at Novi High School. He is enrolled in advanced placement Government and Business Law. He is very interested in Youth Council because has a always had a strong interest and passion towards government and civics since he was young. He was always interested in how government worked, how things went and who did what. Today, he continues to further educate himself through personal research, classes and reading. In addition, he is a great communicator and leader. He is the Novi Varsity Golf and former Captain on his hockey team. He is comfortable speaking to audiences large and small. He believes leadership is a very important skill to have todayís society and government because you are the eye of trust in the people. Furthermore, he enjoys solving problems and would bring a common sense approach to the council. He enjoys figuring things out, listening to other people and seeing what they have to say. He is very open minded, however, has his own beliefs and ideas but is willing to listen to everyone. He is a diligent worker, strong communicator, a charismatic leader and a determined individual. He never gives up. He feels he is well qualified for a position on Novi Youth Council.
Mr. Surapaneni feels he would be an excellent candidate for Novi City Youth Council because he is very passionate about Politics and Law. He thinks if you truly love what youíre doing you will do the job better, for example, he keeps himself updated regarding current events using the different media available today. Heís also very active in discussions because he feels comfortable speaking his mind and is good at presenting new ideas. He is also on the Student Debate Team, Teen Court and Model United Nations which is very similar to what the Youth Council deals with. For example, the Model United Nations is based on United Nations procedures so they have bylaws and resolutions. When we go to conferences, we present ideas and open the speaker list which is very similar to what Youth Council does. He feels he is very organized, prioritizes well and is willing to contribute in any way he can. He views this as his opportunity to shine because he has career aspirations as a public policy maker which involves interacting with people and he is open to a lot of new ideas. He considers it an honor to be involved in City Government at such a young age.
Ms. Raymundo feels she would be a good candidate because she is willing to cooperate with other people, good at getting projects done on time and has working experience with Model United Nations. Model UN is about working with other people and solving the problems of the world. This experience is invaluable to the Novi Youth Council. She is proficient and willing to put time and effort into this because she feels it is a good cause. She would like to take away from the experience of being in government and be able to help on projects within the community. She wants to get to
know people who are working to make change in the community so she will have a better idea of who to vote for when she is able to vote in the near future.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:14 A.M.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
_____________________________ Date approved: September 26, 2005
Transcribed by: Charlene Mc Lean