Westerlo town park pavilion vandalized

— Photo from Dotty Verch

The moon and Earth, a cactus and mushroom are among the graffiti painted on the walls of the pavilion in Westerlo’s town park. Councilman Matthew Kryzak is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the vandals’ arrest and conviction. 

WESTERLO — Westerlo’s town park pavilion has been vandalized by graffiti artists, who spray-painted various images and crude messages on walls, tables and the floor. 

The damage was discovered Monday evening by the town’s health-insurance review committee, which held a meeting there, according to committee member Dotty Verch, who is also chairwoman of the Westerlo Planning Board. 

“We had an impromptu meeting Monday evening and [were] met with this disgusting destruction of the pavilion,” Verch wrote to The Enterprise in an email. “This is an example of children that have been brought up lacking respect for other people’s property as well as our Town’s!”

She went on, “The Albany County Sheriff’s department already have leads.”

The sheriff’s department could not immediately be reached for comment.

The graffiti is largely un-profane, with images of a cactus, mushroom, a moon with a face, and other miscellania sprayed on the pavilion walls. One table — the tables are painted wood with built-in benches on either side — now reads “You’re obese!” It’s countered by a nearby message that reads “Nobody’s obese!” 

Another tabletop says “Wow,” while still another says “Smoke,” with an arrow pointing to the bench on one side, and “Toke” with an arrow pointing to the bench on the other side.

Town board member Matthew Kryzak is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. 

“I want to see this type of behavior stopped in its tracks before our beautiful town park looks like a 42nd Street subway station,” Kryzak told The Enterprise in an email, referring to the graffiti-laden subway terminals of New York City. 

“My guess is that the vandals are minors,” Kryzak went on. “My goal would be to provide the minors with a reality check along with a healthy dose of community service as punishment. The hope would be that this becomes a good life lesson for the kids responsible and that they grow up to have pride in their community and a better moral compass.”

Town Supervisor Bill Bichteman told The Enterprise in an email that no cost estimate for the repairs has yet been carried out but that the town is looking into whether the cost would be covered by insurance. He said he hopes for restitution and community service if the vandals are caught.

“When the vandals are apprehended the town may have little to say concerning punishment,” Bichteman wrote. “Most likely, they will be juveniles and the matter will probably be handled in Family Court. However, I personally would expect, at minimum, restitution and hopefully many hours of town community service.” 

Bichteman said that any changes to the way the park is managed going forward will be made by the town board. 


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