A town hall meeting is set for June 1 to consider community task force recommendations on curbing vandalism and meeting the needs of youth in the Mt. Vernon area.
Eight task forces were organized at a similar community meeting last December. Plans to discuss their recommendations coincide with the release of a report on the "Citizen's Options regarding Juvenile Offenses in the Mt. Vernon District" compiled by the Public Safety Committee of the Mt. Vernon Council of Citizens Association.
The report covers the role and limitations of the police, the role and options of the victim and the roles of juvenile and domestic relations courts in vandalism cases. It discusses procedures, defines specific offenses and gives a list of helpful phone numbers.
The public safety committee plans to distribute copies of the report to the 5,000 households that are members of the Mt. Vernon Council of Civic Associations.
Jonathan Bryan, who helped write and research the Mt. Vernon Council report, is also chairman of the community task force on effective law enforcement. His task force and the council recommend increased involvement of parents and adults in the recreation, training and school of community youth.
The task force also suggests more community relations officers in the police department, that parents be held liable for their children's acts of vandalism and that peer groups be used as juries in juvenile vandalism cases.
"One of the biggest problems we seem to have with programs for youth is that most young people don't know they exist or how to find out about them," said Mt. Vernon supervisor Warren Cikins, who organized both town meetings.
He said all the task forces found that getting the word out on the programs is very important. Several recommendations deal with newsletters, improving recreation department information, setting up a hot line to record youth activity information and the need for a centralized inventory of youth programs in the area.
Other recommendations included courses in family communication, early alcohol and drug abuse information, summer employment programs for youth, later hours for recreation facilities and more roving leader outreach programs.
Cikins hopes for a consensus on some of the recommendations, and community action groups to implement them.
Most of the task forces were jointly chaired by adults and young people from the Mt. Vernon area. The task force on alcohol and drugs was chaired by Arlene Hoffman and Ted Moroney. Glenn Gatzinger and Diane Thomas headed the task force on the availability of public facilities. Henry Waysilvers and Doug Phillips headed the task force on employment opportunities.
Pedro FlorCruz and David Spann led the task force on family responsibility. The generation group was headed by Judy Geller and Liz Vandeburg. Warren Johnson's task force was concerned with integrating recreation facilities and Marlene Berlin's group discussed the relevance of the present education system.
The June 1 town hall meeting will begin at 8 p.m. in the Mt. Vernon Mental Health Center, 8119 Holland Rd., and is open to all interested residents. Information on the recommendations and the meeting is available through Cikins' office, 765-2877.