Editorial: Zebulon teen’s enthusiasm could be infectious

June 7, 2013 

It’s a scene all-too-common in many towns. People see a problem, but do nothing to address i.

The complaints fester and local leaders, who may or may not know of the concern, do nothing to address the matter.

But then there are people like Jasmine Porter.

After she read about the creation of a youth council in Raleigh, she thought it seemed like a good idea for Zebulon, her home town.

And, rather than just telling her parents it would be nice to have something like that here, she went to town hall to pitch the idea.

After talking with Mayor Bob Matheny and members of the Parks and Recreation staff, and creating the bare bones of a youth council, the group held its first meeting last week.

The rest of the summer will be spent building up more support for the idea and recruiting area teens to become involved.

The Zebulon Youth Council isn’t a policy-setting body, but it can serve to give commissioners – and town staff – an idea of the kinds of services they’d like to see offered in Zebulon.

Make no mistake, the town’s Parks and Recreation Department already offers a lot of good athletic and recreational opportunities for Zebulon’s young people.

Adult volunteers run other leagues that give children even more opportunities.

But none of those programs come at the behest of the town’s young people.

And before you start thinking that young people don’t have a sense of what they want from their local and state governments, think again.

We were reminded this week of a news story that appeared a few months ago in which Zebulon Middle School students were asked to develop their own plans for improving the town.

Among their top priorities: transportation and sound land use planning - not exactly kids stuff.

A youth council could provide the town with a lot of useful feedback and advice if it gets off the ground as Porter envisions.

And given the initiative she’s shown already, we have no doubt that it will.

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