New Windsor may pass torch to the very young NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

April 21, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The ages 18 and 24 have taken on a new significance in New Windsor.

In the town's May 11 election, mayoral candidates Matthew Purkins and Jack A. Gullo Jr. are, respectively, 18 and 24 years old.

"I have my reservations," said Town Clerk-Treasurer Richard Warehime. "One of them hasn't been to a council meeting and the other, well, he's been to just about all of them, but he's so young."

Mr. Purkins is active in political organizations at Francis Scott Key High School, where he will graduate at the end of this school year.

He also worked last year campaigning for the Bush-Quayle presidential ticket and U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th. He said he has not missed more than five monthly Town Council meetings since 1989.

Mr. Gullo, who spent much of his childhood in New Windsor, will receive his law degree from Widener School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., in mid-May. He plans to open a law practice in New Windsor at the end of the year when he passes the bar exam.

Although both Mr. Purkins and Mr. Gullo meet the qualifications set by New Windsor's town code, some people believe there should be other options for voters on the May ballot.

"I've heard rumors that there's going to be a few write-ins, but I've never seen a write-in that has amounted to anything," said Mayor James C. Carlisle, 69. "Besides, it takes away from the candidates."

Mr. Carlisle, who is running for one of the two available council seats after one term as mayor, said some residents have pointed out that if Mr. Purkins is elected, he would only barely beat the town's curfew.

The curfew ordinance, recently amended to combat increasing juvenile crime in town, says that residents "younger than eighteen" must be off the streets by 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Mr. Purkins turned 18 on March 17.

With either candidate, the town will have chosen a mayor who will be one of the youngest elected officials in Maryland history.

To date, the youngest elected mayor in Maryland history iSpencer Schlosnagle, who at age 21 won the top post in Friendsville, Garrett County.

Mr. Schlosnagle is in his fourth consecutive, two-year term as mayor there.

Mr. Carlisle said he is not concerned about the candidates' ages.

"The council really runs the town, so it doesn't really bother me," he said. "I'll be glad to help either one of them that gets into office. I think any council member will be."

Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman, who is running for re-election, agreed. She said if she is re-elected, she would be willing to help the new mayor adjust.

"I know that either of these young men will have the support of the elders on the council and in the town," said Ms. Harman, who is running for her second term.

One town elder who undoubtedly will be called upon to help the new mayor is Mr. Warehime.

The combined ages of the two mayoral candidates are less than Mr. Warehime's tenure as the town's clerk-treasurer.

"I should have gotten out when I wanted to, about two years ago. Then there would have been someone trained in the position to vTC help one of these young men along," said Mr. Warehime, who has held his post for 45 years.

"Now it looks like the job's going to fall on my shoulders."

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