Junior joins the Kenmore Planning Commission


Photo courtesy of the City of Kenmore

Junior Nathan Loutsis (left) and Suzanne Greathouse (right) are announced as the newest members of the Kenmore Planning Commission.

Founded in 1998, Kenmore has been a city in the state of Washington for 21 years. For the first time in its history, a high school student joined the City Council as a part of the Planning Commission. Junior Nathan Loutsis joined and attended his first meeting in January.

The age of the other members ranges from their 40s to 50s according to Loutsis. As the youngest member, Loutsis said that he is able to voice his opinions. He believes that it is important for some of the youth to be involved with the future of the city.

The Planning Commission serves as a policy advisory body to the City Council, providing guidance and recommendations on the City’s Comprehensive Plan and other related land use documents.

“[My role is] to help look over a lot of the city documents regarding land use, and also to look over large applications that have to do with city development,” Loutsis said.

Over the course of the past few years, city officials have been looking to incorporate a more youthful voice into the future plans and goals of Kenmore. City Mayor David Baker interviewed Loutsis for the position and sees him as an asset in generating a needed voice from the youth.

“I have been trying to do this for years,” Baker said. “I am extremely pleased to see that someone from high school applied because like I said, I have been wanting this to happen for a long time.”

By involving the youth in the planning for large city projects, Baker believes that the plans for the future could change in different directions by including Loutsis in the Planning Commission.

“He is very smart and brings a really great perspective to the meetings,” Baker said. “Theoretically, it could [change the direction], because it is a totally different point of view than we have had before.”

Although he is serving as the youngest member on the Planning Commission, Loutsis said that he has not felt any prejudice based on his age.

“I do sometimes worry that to the public or other city officials that my words may not be taken as seriously as some of the other officials since they are older,” Loutsis said. “[However,], the experience so far [has been] very welcoming and kind.”

At school, Loutsis actively participates in student government by serving as the ASB Treasurer and conducts the band as junior drum major. According to Loutsis, these activities help him gain knowledge and experience in community and civil service.

The second new member to the Planning Commission along with Loutsis is Suzanne Greathouse, who is currently a vice president of the Kenmore Heritage Society Board and is on the Chair of the Northshore Fire District Board.

“I’m excited to have [Loutsis] on the Commission,” Greathouse said. “[I] hope his participation inspires other young people to become similarly involved.”

The Planning Commission recently released a docket that contains the several new projects and goals from the Kenmore City Council for 2019, which Loutsis and Greathouse are looking forward to contributing to. The docket can be found online at the Kenmore City website.