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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt-absent excused, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-06-155 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To clarify the prior ruling to extend the terms of the Youth Representatives on Boards and Commissions to two years.
Mayor Landry said he would support this and was confident there was Council consensus. He explained that at Council’s June 5th meeting they amended the by-laws of the Youth Council so that the terms would be for two years. So, if there is a youth representative on a Board or Commission, their term if the motion passed, would now be a two year term. He said it would not be necessary for a youth representative, serving on a board or commission, to re-interview for that position. If there was someone on a board or commission who wanted to interview for the Youth Council, they would be free to do that.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-155 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
PURPOSE OF MEETING: To interview candidates for appointment to the Youth Council and Student Representatives on Boards and Commissions.
Mayor Landry said there would be five minutes per candidate and Council would not ask questions. Instead, Council had their resumes and essays, and each candidate would speak and could address the two following questions. 1) Why do you feel you would be a good candidate, and 2) What is a goal you hope to complete or what would you like to take away from the experience.
7:00 Kamal Yechoor – re-applied for Library Board. Term extended per Council.
7:05 Kathleen Hlavaty
Ms. Hlavaty said she was a tenth grader at Novi High School and thought she would be a good candidate for this position. She stated she was an officer of the Model United Nations Club, and a varsity debater. Her experiences in government included Youth in Government Day in May, when she went up to the County Commissioner’s Board to sit on a mock board and was the Chairman. She said they talked about things that were going on with the jails and the overcrowding, and she felt she knew a lot of what was going on locally. She said because of Model United Nations, she had an idea about how things worked in government.
She commented she had learned, among many things that you are not always right, and you have to listen to other people’s ideas, because force was not always good. She said there are a lot of people who are not going to work with you or like you no matter what you do. A good example of that would be North Korea and the United States. Ms. Hlavaty said debate had taught her many things like how to speak to people, how to act when people say you’re wrong, how to prove your point without getting in a massive fight. She said she was happy to be a debater, and had been for two years. She had noticed in her classes that she was able to break down her argument and their argument, and see both sides of the point, and to at least come to a moderate conclusion.
Mayor Landry asked the candidates to state what grade they were currently in, because last year they put on their applications the grade they would be in the next fall.
7:10 Christopher Kim
Mr. Kim was applying for the Novi Youth Council, and felt that he would be an asset. He said he was active in school, and belonged to or had belonged to the International Club, Spanish Club, Quiz Bowl National Team, and he volunteered. Next year, Mr. Kim was planning to work out of a Jewish Family Center for mentoring young kids, and also volunteered at Angela Hospice to care for the elderly. Mr. Kim said this summer, for the second consecutive year, he would be going to Mexico to work with kids down there. He said he was a very caring individual, and would be an asset to such a leadership position.
7:15 Sudeep Rohatgi
Mr. Rohatgi stated he was a junior at Novi High School and a member of the National Honor Society. He commented he was the Robotics Vice President, and was involved with the robot the team was building for the City, and was currently leading that project. He also actively volunteers in the City, and mentors a Little League team for 6th and 7th grades. Mr. Rohatgi said last year he was a member of the Providence Health Committee, and helped start the health fair and other things. He felt he would be a good candidate because he was responsible. He had been a leader in robotics for the past three years, and next year would be the Vice President. He said being a leader, he took initiative to fix things that were wrong, and do what was right for the team. He would sign them up for different things, made sure they were going to the correct places, and that the teams were on time to send the robot to compete at different competitions. He had volunteered at the Providence Health Committee, but wanted to give more back to the community, and felt he could give more back by being on the Youth Council. He thought he was dedicated and a good leader. Mr. Rohatgi said he hoped to take away from this experience knowledge of how the government and the City worked. He said by being on the Youth Council he would be able to develop his leadership skills for future uses, and thought that would be a really good thing.
7:20 Christy Duan
Ms. Duan said she was a tenth grade student, and would love to be on the Novi Youth Council. Presently, she was involved in school activities, and one that had really affected her was Model U.N. She said she won the best delegate award, which showed she was willing to cooperate with other people, and understand what their country and its people needed. She also had a very good understanding of parliamentary procedure. Ms. Duan was an officer of Model U.N. and the Art Club, and felt those positions were an indication of her leadership skills. She was also involved in her journalism class, and planned to be a reporter next year. She wanted to understand what was happening in the City, and give that information to other students so they could understand what was happening and form decisions. Ms. Duan said what she could take away from this experience was an understanding of what it was like to serve the community, and through that understanding, she would understand what kind of job opportunities she would like in the future. She thought it was a great opportunity that other cities didn’t offer. Ms. Duan said as another Model U.N. speaker said, as Henry the VIII said to all of his wives "I won’t keep you waiting."
7:25 Rebecca Vera-Burgus - not present
7:30 Adam Britten
Mr. Britten said he was currently a sophomore at Novi High School. He thought he would be an excellent candidate for the City of Novi Youth Council for three main reasons. 1) He was an excellent leader, and was currently the secretary of his class for Student Council, the National Honor Activities Director, the Teen Court and Drama Club Treasurer. He said he had proven himself an excellent leader in all of those clubs, and felt he could bring those skills to the Youth Council as well. 2) He was an excellent speaker, and was very involved in the Drama Club at his school, and had learned many valuable speaking skills that were important to speak in front of a large group. 3) He was passionate and dedicated about what he did, would always put 110% into whatever he did, and this would not be an exception to that. Mr. Britten thought there were many things to be learned from the Youth Council, and the main one was how the government and the City worked. He felt there were many things he could accomplish while on the Youth Council, and would like to be a connection between the City of Novi youth and the leaders. The City of Novi youths have many dreams, hopes, and wishes for their City, and sometimes the adults of Novi don’t know or understand these wishes, and there needed to be a connection between the youth and the leaders. He felt the Novi Youth Council would be that connection, and would like to be a participant to help his peers bridge the gap between them and their leaders.
7:35 Tina Jain
Ms. Jain stated she was an eleventh grade student at Novi High School. She had lived in Novi since the third grade, and believed Novi was a great community full of young life. She said this young life needed a voice, and believed that was why the Novi Youth Council was formed. She thought she could be a great leader because she was very active in her school, Drama Department, and had taken on many leadership roles. She was currently the Drama Club recording secretary and Spanish Club Treasurer. She believed that everyone should give back to their community because it was just a great thing to be involved in. She said Novi was a great community, but youth had great ideas and thoughts, and they needed to convey them. She said they needed leaders they could go talk to about their thoughts. Hopefully, they could put their ideas into action, such as events. For example, the Emagine Lock-in, she thought that was a great idea because a lot of students participated, and it was a great way to get all the youth of the community together. She believed she could get out of this experience more leadership roles, be a better public speaker, and she would like to help motivate people to get their thoughts and ideas out. She said she was a people oriented person who liked to listen and give advice, and thought this would be a great opportunity to show what she could do.
7:40 Leah Rice
Ms. Rice stated she was an eleventh grader at Novi High School, and she believed she was definitely qualified for this position. She said she was on the Habitat for Humanity Leadership Team, and a lot of fundraisers were needed, and she definitely knew what it took to be able to raise money for an organization. She said she was currently active in Drama Club, Spanish Club, and SADD. She regularly attended meetings, was never late, and liked to show dedication in that way too. Ms. Rice believed that connecting the youth with government was very important because they were not allowed to vote for their own City Council members. She thought to be a voice for them and their opinion was imperative. She thought this was an original idea for the students to get involved in the community along with the regular opportunities to volunteer at elementary schools, etc.
7:45 Michael Bello
Mr. Bello said he was a junior at Novi High School, and was on the football and track teams. He said he had lived in the area for over seven years, and he wanted to give back to his community, as he didn’t feel like he had done enough. Mr. Bello thought he would be a good candidate because he worked hard in school, was on time, got assignments done, and felt he could do the same thing on the Youth Council.
7:50 Jingyun Fan
Ms. Fan said she was a sophomore in Novi High School, and was applying for a Novi Youth Council position because she wanted to contribute to her community, and believed she would be a valuable asset. She said she moved to Novi two years ago, and had moved numerous times in her childhood, and was really shocked at how different Novi was from the other communities. Novi had a spirit of productiveness and a spirit of community. She saw the activities that the City of Novi had hosted such as the 50’s Festival, the Halloween activity at the Civic Center, etc., and really liked the positive difference. Ms. Fan said because she saw those positive differences, she wanted to contribute, and take part in making it even better. She thought she could do this because of her experiences and personality traits. She commented she was an officer in three clubs in her school, and also involved in two other clubs that were closely related to government. One was Model U.N. and the other was Teen Court. Model U.N. had helped her learn a lot about organization, how to cooperate with people for a common cause, and how to accomplish things together. She said Teen Court had helped her learn about parliamentary procedure, how the law worked, and what was right and wrong. She thought her personality would help her to contribute to the Novi Youth Council because she was organized, passionate about everything she did, and because she was always willing to cooperate with other people. She commented that she had very high expectations of herself. She always got her projects done on time, and never allowed herself to do any less than she could possibly do. Ms. Fan said because of her passion, she would remain faithful to the Youth Council as long as she was on it, and she was willing to work on her own time. She said she had learned from her personality to cooperate with others and work as a team. She liked to compromise, when possible, for the common cause. She was really excited about the potential of the Youth Council, and hoped that the City Council would let her be on it.
7:55 Vihdi Bamzai
Ms. Bamzai stated she was a tenth grade student at Novi High School. She had lived in Novi the majority of her life, and could not have asked to be a member of a better community. She noted the school system was one of the best in the nation, and if it had not been for the many opportunities that were available to them through their school, she would not feel as capable a candidate for the position. Ms. Bamzai thought experience was essential in the candidates Council chose for this respected position, and felt she had the experience for the position available. The High School Student Council was one of the main reasons she felt as capable as she did for this job. She said she had been on the High School Student Council for the past two years, and would continue to be an active representative for the Class of 2008 during her junior year. She commented that her role on Student Council had been vital to her class’ success because she continuously takes on leadership opportunities, not only within the school’s Council, but especially within the Class of 2008’s Council. Ms. Bamzai said she spent the past year as a student member of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission and had truly enjoyed herself. She noted she knew the amount of dedication and hard work it took to be a member of the commission, and felt she had what it took to be on the Novi Youth Council. She thought that her dedication and leadership abilities were a few things that truly set her apart from her peers. She said she had seen, as a youth member on the Parks and Recreation Commission that her opinion did matter, and would like all of her peers to a voice in their government. Ms. Bamzai said if she was once again given this opportunity, she hoped to show the youth of Novi that they could have a positive effect on their community. The youth are the future of tomorrow, and joining her peers in taking an active role in their community was a cool thing to do, and was very important to her. She wanted to show her peers that the City Council was not the only thing that had the power to promote change, but that they all had the same opportunity. She thanked Council for their time and effort in making these positions available to the youth of Novi, and said she appreciated Council’s time.
Mayor Landry said it was his understanding that she was on the Parks and Recreation Commission, and if appointed to the Youth Council she would give up the Parks and Recreation Commission. Ms. Bamzai said yes, she would.
Council recessed at 7:24 P.M.
Council reconvened at 7:42 P.M.
8:00 Florianne Silvestri
Ms. Silvestri stated she was 15 years old and attended Mercy High School. She wanted to be on the Novi Youth Council because she felt she wanted to become more involved with the community, and had what it took to become part of the Youth Council. She thought she was a good candidate because she exhibited leadership, worked at Hiller’s in Northville, and worked well with peers and employees. She felt if she was on the Novi Youth Council it would help her get a long with peers her own age and older. She exhibited leadership by achieving her black belt in five and a half years, and it taught her discipline, confidence and to respect herself. She thought those were necessary qualities to exhibit leadership. Ms. Silvestri was also a soccer referee in Novi, and loved to teach little kids about a sport she enjoyed doing. She liked helping, assisting and teaching little kids new things. For example, she coached a Pee Wee game the other night, and was helping a little kid throw a ball at a goalie, and it kept going past line but once he got it he was very good at it. She said one of the things she wanted to do, if on the Novi Youth Council, was to help kids and do like a Big Brother/Big Sister program. She thought they could get older kids together to be counselors or role models, and help them go through the peer pressures of middle school, and what to expect in high school. She felt that one of the benefits would be to be able to tell the kids about drugs, alcohol, and what the effects would be. She thought kids should be more involved in the community’s team sports. She felt they would benefit from new friendships that would help them socially and academically. Ms. Silvestri thought they would understand themselves better, and show themselves through sports, and show pride in getting along with others. Ms. Silvestri felt they should help take care of the community better. She thought kids could work together to help clean up the environment, and the community to help make it a better and more beautiful place. She thought the environment was very important because we live in it, and it should be our responsibility to take care of it.
8:05 Asra Shaik – Not present
8:10 Ashima Goyal
Ms. Goyal said she was a tenth grader, and was applying for the Novi Youth Council. She believed she had the capability and was responsible enough for the position. She informed Council that she was involved in many activities in school, and had held many leadership positions, such as Officer Interact Club, and was involved in other activities also. She wanted to become more involved in the community because she thought it was important. The community offered so much for the residents, and as residents, she felt they should also offer something to the community. She said that was the way she would be involved in the Youth Council position. Ms. Goyal commented that she was hardworking, determined, and believed her ideas would benefit the Novi Youth Council. A goal she wanted to complete was to encourage more Novi residents to learn more about how the City government worked, and how the decisions made affect them. The experience she hoped to gain was how the City worked, and how decisions affected its people.
8:15 Eric Johnson
Mr. Johnson said he was 17 and a new senior at Novi High School this year. He said he was just elected Student Council President, and he felt he had a lot of leadership to offer. He said he could also offer seeing the world from a different perspective. He said when he was in kindergarten they moved to England for 3 ½ years. He said he had seen that part of the world and traveled throughout Europe, and it was a whole new perspective seeing things from that angle. Mr. Johnson felt that he wanted to make a difference. As President of the Student Council he wanted to see changes implemented in the school. He wanted to take a more active role in determining how things were done in his school, and use his position to help better everything at his school. He wanted to contribute to the community, and help Novi High School kids have a more active role in their community. He said they have a lot to offer, and sometimes don’t use their full potential to accomplish that. So, if there was a program with a lot of events to strengthen the relationship between older people and younger people that would be beneficial. He thought, sometimes, teens were so focused on going to college that they lost sight of some of the other important things in life. Mr. Johnson said he volunteers at Providence in Novi, headed up a Relay for Life Team in May, which raised over $4,000, was on SAD, and was a Treasurer for his class last year. He thought he had a lot to contribute, and could serve as a bridge between the High School and the community.
Council recessed at 8:00 P.M.
Council reconvened at 8:03 P.M.
8:20 Nishant Surapaneni – Not present
8:25 Linda Pak
Ms. Pak believed she was qualified for the position because she was currently taking AP Government, which allowed her to have prior knowledge about the government in the City, and how it intermingles. She was also the secretary for Students Against Destructive Decisions, and believed, if they worked together with SADD in the City of Novi, they could complete more activities and programs together. Ms. Pak stated she was also an officer for Spanish Club and other activities. She really wanted this position because she believed Novi High School needed more ambassadors for the City of Novi to allow more opportunities, and have more feedback on what Novi High School students’ needed and what’s available to them. Ms. Pak thought that Novi would benefit from her having this experience, and sharing with students what she learned being on the Youth Council.
Mayor Landry asked if she was currently in the eleventh grade, and she said she was.
8:30 Scott Wagner – re-applied for Parks, Recreation & Forestry. Term extended per Council.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
There being no further to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
_________________________________ Date approved: June 19, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean