No quorum for Picayune

Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For the first time in years, reportedly 20 years, Picayune’s city council did not have enough members present for a quorum.

Due to the lack of enough members present to hold the meeting it has been moved to Sept. 22, at 5 p.m., where the same agenda will be heard.

Only one item on the agenda was heard at the meeting, a presentation of young adults in the community under the guidance of World Vision. They addressed the council about the need for a community center for young people to gather and hang out. Not only would this community center give them a place to meet other youths, but most importantly it would give them a place to go that would keep them off the streets and out of trouble. It could also serve to help children with their education, since the graduation rate in Picayune is only at about 74 percent.

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The students cited such concerns as obesity, drug usage and teen pregnancy that are attributed to the lack of youth oriented opportunities in Picayune.

The presentation to the council is the product of the Youth Empowerment Program implemented by World Vision to guide young people to be leaders of their community, said Audrey Black with Picayune’s World Vision.

“A lot of times we don’t know what our youth are worth,” Black said.

During the six month program, that took up the participant’s Saturday’s, the young adults learned how to find things in their community they wanted to change and set about making that change. In the future the things the young adults have learned will be passed down to younger community members through mentorship, Black said.

“We want to raise up leaders in your community,” Black said.

The thing the students in the program found most important was the need for a community center for teenagers. To raise money to build the center the young adults suggested asking for community business donations or to look for other funding.

To ensure the center stays open they suggested a monthly fee paid by the teenagers for the use of the facility. If the teenager’s grades are good then a discount would be put into effect.

After they presented their idea Mayor Greg Mitchell said he recognizes the need for such a building and that he hopes the city could get something started with their idea soon.

The council members not present were Jerry Bounds due to an illness, Anna Turnage due to a medical emergency and Donald Parker due to pastoral obligations.