18-year-old Matthew Gardea could have used his time before starting college to catch up on his favorite television shows or get some much-needed sleep. Instead, he’s been hard at work as the youngest planning and zoning commissioner in Horizon City history.
Gardea was unanimously appointed to his position by the city council this summer, after support from Councilwoman Samantha Corral. He says hearing so many people talk about his age makes him take the responsibility even more seriously.
“Having city council members express to me you are the youngest ever to sit on this commission,” Gardea said. “For me it wasn't hearing it once, hearing it twice or three times —hearing it from almost every city council member, and even going into city hall and being sworn in, and just that being repeated over and over again, at some point, the reality does start to sit in. That daunting moment would be as the youngest on this commission, I feel that it's very important that I set the example.”