Pierce elected mayor

Roop returned to council

Palsgrove to join panel after defeat of Harman

May 09, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

New Windsor voters elected yesterday a new mayor, re-elected one incumbent and selected a newcomer for the town's council.

Sam M. Pierce, a 67-year-old retired business owner, was elected mayor after an uncontested campaign. Incumbent Neal Roop led council winners, followed by newcomer Ed Palsgrove, who defeated incumbent Rebecca Harman by 99 votes.

Bill Geelhaar finished fourth and Frazier Hollenbeck fifth. Hollenbeck did not run an active campaign because of a recent hospitalization.

Of New Windsor's 691 registered voters, 323 turned out to cast their ballots yesterday.

Roop and Palsgrove will join Terry Petry, Ronnie Blacksten and departing Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. on the five-member council. The council last week appointed Gullo to serve the last two years of a council term vacated by Paul G. Garver in February.

The new mayor and Town Council will face issues ranging from guiding the town's Main Street revitalization project to finding a use for the abandoned New Windsor Middle School building. The council also will confront an expected increase in truck traffic from the $268 million expansion of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. plant in nearby Union Bridge.

Candidates took few firm stances on these issues in their campaigns. Instead, several focused on the need to improve communication between the council and residents to gauge how projects should be handled.

Candidates said the council needed residents' input on how to proceed with the town's $15 million Main Street revitalization project. The town has been promised state funds for the project, but it will be responsible for upgrading lighting, burying utility lines and other refinements. The council will have to gauge residents' willingness to pay for these improvements, Roop said last week.

Other tasks facing the council include finding a new home for New Windsor Fire Company and increasing the town's water supply.

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