Fairbanks, North Pole mayors to meet with young people

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The borough and city mayors of Fairbanks and the mayor of North Pole are having a community planning session Friday, but there won't be any business leaders or politicians at the meeting.

The mayors will listen to young people, ages 14-25, talk about what sort of community they want the Fairbanks North Star Borough to be in 10 years.

''We hope to learn from this population what it would take for them to stay in this community,'' Borough Mayor Rhonda Boyles said. Fairbanks Mayor Steve Thompson and North Pole Mayor Jeff Jacobson are also sponsors.

The Youth Summit on Fairbanks' Future is being held at the Princess Hotel and is by invitation only. The young people will spend the day talking about answers to the question: What would it take for you to continue living here?

West Valley High School senior Aaron Foote, son of Assemblywoman Victoria Foote, will be at the summit. What would it take for him to make his life in Fairbanks? Some of the trappings of a big city, he said.

''I kind of like the big city atmosphere. Emulate big city workings, but keep a relatively small population so it's not crazy with crime and stuff like that,'' Foote said.

Foote is among 95 young people invited to the summit, according to David Leone, special assistant to Boyles. The mayors hope at least 60 people attend, he said.

''When we kind of brainstormed names, what we were looking for is leaders or influencers,'' Leone said.

Ideas from the meeting will be included in a proposal to plan development in the borough. Also, the three mayors will establish joint goals based on this meeting and meetings held earlier in the year with business and civic leaders.

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