Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko presented the borough council with a model ordinance for skateboarding in the town during its normal monthly meeting on Thursday evening. The council had requested that the mayor look into such an ordinance at a previous meeting.
The material Sofranko presented to council was prepared by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and consists of a sample ordinance and some other information about regulating skateboarding activity within an urban area.
"I would only say one thing to you after reviewing this with the police department," Sofranko said. "This does cover all of the areas we would want, but if you do come up with a skateboarding ordinance, there has to be some place that people can skateboard. You can't just stop skateboarding in the borough."
"I'm not about to spend overtime hours for our police force to chase skateboarders around," Sofranko said. "The chief and I have talked about it and drugs in the borough is a bigger issue to us right now than skateboarding."
The borough solicitor is looking over the sample ordinance.
In other police news, police chief Joseph Schatz congratulated the borough council and thanked its members for allowing the Jim Thorpe police department to continue operating its DARE program.
"We recently graduated 92 students from the program and it's a great honor to be a part of the DARE program and to know that the Jim Thorpe Police Department is probably one of the only departments within this country that still has a DARE program," Schatz said.
Borough council had considered discontinuing the program last year due to budget constraints, but decided to continue to the program in spite of the difficulties.
"You guys should be commended for allowing this to happen," Schatz said.
DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. It is a national program is designed to give kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.