Gullo aims to resign with `clean plate'

New Windsor councilman taking job in Annapolis

July 03, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Jack A. "Jay" Gullo Jr., who becomes deputy director of Maryland Environmental Service next month, plans to resign from the New Windsor Town Council as soon as he "ties up a few loose ends."

The councilman and former two-term mayor was appointed to the independent state agency last month and will have statewide responsibilities for water and wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and dredge containment and recycling facilities, including those in his home town.

Gullo, 33, will be based in Annapolis in his new job, but he has no immediate plans to relocate his residence. He intends to keep the first Wednesday of the month free so he can attend Town Council sessions.

"I will be here to provide guidance to anyone here who needs it," he said. "I know how this town operates. I still feel passionate about the issues and still want input. I will be affected by what happens here ... but I want to leave with a clean plate on pending issues."

Time in office

Elected mayor in 1993, when he was 23 and just out of college, and again in 1997, Gullo oversaw the town's first major growth spurt since World War II. He also built a law practice in an office that was once his great-grandfather's barbershop.

"I had to learn everything and I found that the mayor did it all," he said, recalling how he delivered water bills by hand and helped crews with recycling pickups.

The population doubled to more than 1,500 with no lag in services to residents.

"We maintained the quality of life in this town and welcomed new people into our community," he said. "We have kept New Windsor as an affordable place to live."

He decided against a third mayoral term last year, but he did accept an appointment to a vacancy on the council.

"He certainly has done some good things for the town," said Mayor Sam M. Pierce Jr., Gullo's successor.

A fourth-generation town resident whose great-grandfather was also mayor, Gullo said he willingly dedicated his time to the only home he has ever known.

"I really lived and breathed this community and was glad for the opportunity to help the people I lived with," said Gullo. "I really enjoyed being at the helm."

He found fiscal responsibilities and growth issues the most challenging elements of his office. But, despite pressures from burgeoning development, his administration was able to lower taxes and to increase the town's funding programs. He credits the "strong councils I have worked with, all with strong individuals who became good friends."

"Town officials are basically volunteers who do the things no one else wants to," said Gullo. "It is not just ribbon-cutting and walking in parades. It is taxes, sewer rates, developments and financing. It is work you have to do or everyone in town will suffer."

Rebecca Harman, who served two of her three council terms with Gullo, found him to be dedicated, knowledgeable and open to others.

`Hate to see him go'

"He always took our opinions and ideas into consideration," Harman said. "Having a law degree was a great deal of help especially when we were dealing with developers. Jay kept taxes down and never spent excessively. He is just a doggone wonderful person and I hate to see him go."

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