Feb 18, 2016

Youth Leadership Visits Agoura Hills City Hall

Agoura Hills Mayor, Harry Schwarz, Discusses City Government with Youth Leadership

February 17th  the members of the local Youth Congress Leadership group had the privilege of meeting Louis Celaya, the Deputy City Manager for Agoura Hills, who gave us a presentation on how local government functions, its impact on different aspects of the city, and how it coexists with state and federal administrations.  Louis first walked us through the city’s founding principles, and it was hard not to smile knowing how dedicated the council has been to the “Big Box Ordinance” (not letting Agoura Hills turn into a crowded industrial district by limiting the size and sprawl of new stores) and to maintaining a rustic, comfortable feel to the city.  We went on to discuss everything from how projects like the newly-built recreation center are carried out, to the surprisingly complex reasoning behind the construction work that we all saw on the way to the city council building and the complications between state and city governments when dealing with current problems.  Our group was also honored by a visit from mayor Harry Schwarz, who elaborated on how the city council is run and how so much of what we take for granted in our cities is maintained by tireless and devoted staff. Both Louis and harry answered our questions through often humorous personal stories and it was amazing to see just how passionate they both were about their work.
Our time ended with talking over what a career in local government means and how important it is to give back to one’s community, and I know I wasn’t the only one to walk away feeling grateful and inspired.

Story by Jonah Goldberg

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