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Summer Youth Program

Dumfries Officials’ Children Barred from Summer Youth Program

April 20, 2012 -
Dumfries Town Hall
Dumfries Town Hall
DUMFRIES, Va. – Children of Dumfries Town Council members and town staff will not be allowed to participate in this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
Last year, three students were selected to participate in the program aimed at showing students the ropes of town government. This year, students ages 15 to 18-years-old will be selected for the program that will run from July 9 to Aug. 14.  They’ll be paid $8 an hour for a 15-hour work week. A committee of five, including two town council members, will select this year’s candidates based on the applicant’s level of interest and a submitted essay.
Children of members of appointed town boards and commissions are still eligible to participate.
Councilwoman Kristen Forrester opposed barring council members’ children from the program, and said her daughter has a keen interest in local government.
“Interest in local government tends to run in the family. So, I think we would exclude some kids in favor of town employees for board members’ children, but to say they’re not eligible to participate is the wrong way to go,” said Forrester.
Forrester added that serving on the town council is a public service and does not account for full time employment.
Councilman Willie J. Toney disagreed.
“Those of who are public servants and are paid by the taxpayers’ dollars…our children should not be eligible for this program as the way it stands now,” said Toney.
Councilwoman Dorothea Barr was concerned that, if council members’ children were allowed to participate, town residents would not see the selection process as fair.
“I’m not saying the person who picked them [last year] didn’t pick excellent candidates last time, but I am saying that there is a certain perception that we have to recognize when we’re doing these types of programs. Because it’s not just for the golden ones, it’s for the entire town,” said Barr.
Students will not get class credit  for attending the summer youth program. The applicationdeadline to apply is Friday, May 4.