New Windsor's Whiz Kids CARROLL COUNTY

April 15, 1993

Residents of New Windsor, who have not been very tolerant of their town's young people, will apparently be led by one of them. Unless a large write-in vote materializes for a candidate who has yet to surface, the town is destined to elect a mayor

next month who is less than 25 years old.

The only two candidates who filed before the deadline for the mayoral race are Jack A. Gullo Jr., 24, and Matthew Purkins, 18. Retiring Mayor James C. Carlisle, by contrast, is 69. The two candidates, by virtue of their ages, could infuse vigor and vitality into New Windsor's government and possibly make in-roads into the troubled relationship between young and old in the town.

Recently, New Windsor has experienced a rash of juvenile crime, primarily vandalism and petty thievery. The local government's response was to impose a weekday curfew of 10 p.m. and an 11 p.m. curfew on weekends. Parents whose children are caught violating the restriction will be fined.

Many of the town's teens, who seem to be more enlightened than their parents, say the curfew isn't going to solve the basic cause of the mischief -- boredom. They complain there aren't enough youth-oriented activities to keep New Windsor's several dozen teen-agers constructively occupied.

Judging from some of the ordinances that have been enacted over the years, young people are barely tolerated in New Windsor. Skateboarding, skating, motorized mini-bikes, snowmobiles and trail bikes are all illegal. The town outlawed trick-or-treating on Halloween, too. Juveniles needn't be honor roll students to get the message that town elders consider them nothing but trouble.

Allowing skateboarding or Rollerblades on Main Street won't solve New Windsor's juvenile crime problems. But a more tolerant view that assumes youngsters are basically good and their behavior can be channeled into constructive activities certainly would improve the atmosphere.

The two mayoral candidates, Messrs. Gullo and Purkins, who have displayed a civic understanding beyond their years, may help to change the town's attitude toward its youth. Both young men are serious and capable. We look forward to their campaigns. By running and by proposing solutions, they should set an example for New Windsor residents, young and old.

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