An open letter to City Council on behalf of the City of Batavia Youth Board

Editor:

The City of Batavia Youth Board serves in an advisory capacity regarding youth services for the City of Batavia.

At the Oct. 27, 2020, board meeting the interim city manager was present to inform the board of the changes occurring to youth services in the City of Batavia.

Currently, with the resignation of the program coordinator, the layoffs of Liberty Center staff and the request from the current director, Jocelyn Sikorski, to end her contracted services with the City of Batavia, would result in zero staff for City of Batavia Youth services.

The Youth Board is not in favor of the dissolution of the intermunicipal contract with Genesee County regarding the Youth Director position. This would be detrimental to youth services for the City of Batavia.

Although the board understands the financial concerns of the City of Batavia, the youth services budget amounts to roughly 1% of the City of Batavia budget. The board would have appreciated an opportunity to discuss alternative options with the Interim City Manger but was not afforded that opportunity prior to her decision.

Due to the hiring freeze which has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and budget shortfalls the youth board feels it is in the best interest of the City Youth programs to retain Ms. Sikorski until the end of the contract to rebuild the youth programming once it is safe to reopen the Liberty Center for Youth and resume the Summer Recreation Program provided by the City of Batavia. The board does not feel the same level of services can be achieved by outsourcing these programs which was suggested by the Interim City Manager or charging for these services.

The Youth Board feels an obligation to inform the community of the changes that are being proposed for youth services. Youth programming in the future including the Summer Recreation Program will look much different. Please consider contacting your council member regarding these changes.

Sincerely,

City of Batavia Youth Board Members

Dave Twichell , president

Paula Fischer

Nick Russo

Kathryn Fitzpatrick

Kristen Gloskowski

Johnson Newspapers 7.1