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Township Mum on Trick-or-Treating, Parents Frustrated

The Newtown Township manager maintains that the municipality doesn't play a role in Halloween, however parents throughout the township have been expressing frustration.

With the severe devastation from Sandy all around us, snack-sized Snickers bars might seem trivial, but not to a kid.

Halloween -- second to Christmas on the list of best holidays -- is today. But the main event, trick-or-treating, seems up in the air in Newtown.

With more than 5,000 homes in Newtown without power, many parents are questioning the safety of sending their children out under such conditions. Plus, downed trees and branches from Hurricane Sandy will further impede safety.

However, Newtown Township officials have been mum on the issue, saying it's not under their perview to designate trick-or-treating. Some parents are pushing back, saying officials should step up in the interest of public safety.

Township Supervisors Chairman Mike Gallagher told Patch Monday that he spoke with Township Manager Kurt Ferguson, who said it's not the municipality's decision to set hours for the holiday.

That position was further maintained by the township police, who wrote this in a Facebook post today: "The Newtown Township Manager has confirmed that Newtown Township has never governed decisions regarding Halloween. It is up to the individual residents to decide whether to proceed with trick or treating for this evening. Please keep in mind that 3/4 of Newtown Township is still without power. The police department with still have extra patrols this evening in order to promote the safety of trick or treaters. Please be safe."

Ferguson did not immeadiately return a call for further clarification Wednesday. However, his administrative assistant said the township still holds the position that it's not weighing in on the issue.

But that answer isn't sitting well with some parents. 

On Tuesday night, Patch posted a story seeking opinions from residents as to whether or not trick-or-treating should be held. More than 30 people commented and most would like to see the township take some leadership on the issue.

Reader Kim W wrote: "I was hoping our community leaders would step forward and at least give us an idea as to what the best thing to do is. With much of Newtown still dark it only makes sense that it should be postponed. How are we gonna know if trick or treating will go on today, or if we should wait?"

"Our leaders need to act like leaders and guide us as a community. Please step up for the well being of our kids and announce say afternoon 2--5 for trick or treating," wrote reader Kate.

"With no power and numerous obstacles to navigate, I think it would be wise to postpone until Friday night or Saturday day/night," wrote reader Donna.

Reader Kathy Meara wrote: "Dark streets and loud generators are no place for kids, not to mention doors opening to dimly lit homes. Aligning with New Jersey is the way to go."

Several area towns, including Northampton, Warminster, Falls and Middletown townships have asked the community to hold off for today and have set alternative times for trick-or-treating.

mmm123 October 31, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Parents...you should be so lucky that this is the only thing you have to worry about, get over it. Take your kids to another development, they won't melt..geez
Alice A Narlis October 31, 2012 at 03:50 PM
After all families have been going through this week, kids being in the home without school, Let them enjoy the holiday! You need to be safe however so many kids look forward to this day and I don't think it should be postponed! Buck up and get a flashlight. Let there Halloween!
Steve in Newtown Grant October 31, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Newtown Grant let's do it Saturday. Peco expects power back by late Thurs.
Jennifer Wind October 31, 2012 at 04:21 PM
The Newtown Grant HOA Board is trying to spread the word to postpone trick or treating within Newtown Grant until Saturday from 2-5 pm. We are asking for help from everyone to spread the word. We are concerned about the lack of lights for the kids and for the general safety of the community.
Kara Seymour October 31, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Jennifer, would you like me to post something on Patch about that?
Anne October 31, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Newtown Boro council is asking residents to postpone trick or treating until Wed. 11/7.
Steve in Newtown Grant October 31, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Jennifer if you email to Mr. King at Newtown elementary, perhaps he would be willing to send out an email to his list serve since 70% of his students live in Newtown Grant.
Chris October 31, 2012 at 04:55 PM
weak kneed leaders couldn't make a decision if their lives depended on it. what's so hard about doing November 7th?! Just announce and all will be thrilled the issue has been addressed!
Steve in Newtown Grant October 31, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Jennifer, some kids in Willow Creek are making and posting flyers.
John B October 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
If the govenor of NJ can move the date for trick or treating to this weekend the our township leaders can do the same. This proves what I have been saying for years. Our elected officals only care about taxing the citizens. Our childrens' safety should come first. Go out on Election Day and vote for new leadership. If you don't care about our kids you don't really care.
MKD October 31, 2012 at 07:59 PM
We have power, we count ourselves very lucky. So, we will be handing out treats both nights. What the heck - the kids are cute and we love seeing them.
rosanne cowen October 31, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Pathetic, anemic leadership from Newtown officials. Shame on you. A wholesale decision--or recommendation--should have been made. This should not come down to individual neighborhoods. Halloween is a rare non-religious holiday enjoyed by all children. They should enjoy it together. Have a backbone and put on your "elected leader" costumes.
mmm123 November 01, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Don't you people have common sense of your own, that you need the officals to TELL you when Halloween is. "When's Halloween? waaaaa "I don't have a mind of my own, I need someone else to tell me when my kid should go out" waaaaaa

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