You've all heard the expression that "children should be seen and not heard."
Nobody's exactly sure of the origin of the saying. Some sources attribute it to the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. There are those who claim the phrase is Biblical.
Lehighton Borough Council member George Kogut obviously doesn't subscribe to this axiom. In fact, Kogut wants to hear what the youths have to say.
That's why tonight, acting as a member of the council, he will be hosting a meeting at the Lehighton Municipal Building specifically for youths to provide suggestions, complaints, discussion, or ask questions - regarding anything involving the borough.
The meeting begins at 7 o'clock.
Kogut, who is chairman of the borough council's Public Works and Recreation Committee, remarked regarding tonight's meeting, "We're hoping for a lot of kids. I'm hoping they open up. There's no topic that can't be discussed."
The rookie councilman is a strong advocate for improving recreational facilities within the borough.
He's pressing for the installation of lights at Baer Memorial Park so night baseball games can be held, for basketball courts to be placed at Baer Memorial, and for a summer basketball league at the Community Grove where basketball courts already exist.
A church pastor has arranged for youth group representation from seven area churches to attend tonight's session.
Kogut stressed that anyone can attend the meeting. He wants input from young people, whether they be eight or 18. He wants to hear their opinions, their ideas, and their complaints - not just about recreation but about any topic relevant to the borough.
He assured he won't just be listening to their voices. Notes of the meeting will be taken and minutes will be transcribed.
Those minutes will be given to the other members of Lehighton Borough Council for review and consideration for actions.
This is a great opportunity for young people to have their voices heard. Of course, parents are welcome to attend the meeting tonight, too.
Hopefully there will be a great attendance.
It's wonderful when political leaders go beyond agendas regarding their actions.
Certainly it will be interesting to see what transpires at tonight's meeting.
It might be something that borough officials in other communities consider.
By RON GOWER