An 18-year-old community college student and Eagle Scout is running for Port Washington police commissioner. The incumbent is a retired police officer and Purple Heart recipient who, at 66, has had the job since the challenger was 4 years old.
The teen, Paul Nickolaus Faulk, Thursday launched his candidacy at the department headquarters, where his mother, Christine, and father, Paul, are officers.
"I've been in Port Washington my whole life. I know what's going on and everything. I can use that to my advantage," Faulk said. "I just want to make Port Washington a better place for future generations."
The incumbent and board chairman, James B. Duncan, called his only opponent's candidacy "ludicrous," saying Faulk had "no experience. No anything. No business. No military. Not a police officer."
The election for one of the three commissioners -- administrative, not law-enforcement positions -- is Dec. 13. The three members are paid a yearly stipend of $16,000, according to Duncan.
Faulk sat through the commission's regular meeting Thursday morning, scribbling notes in a blue folder as the current members debated issues ranging from a training program to purchasing office chairs.
"I was taking notes for my agenda," Faulk said.
His platform includes using state and federal grants to keep taxes low and tackling traffic problems on Main Street.
"A lot of people think it's kind of funny that we'll have to address him as commissioner and salute him," his father said.
State law wouldn't explicitly require Faulk to recuse himself from personnel matters that could affect his parents, but if elected, he may want to seek an ethics opinion from the state attorney general's office, said Russ Haven, of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Commissioner Angela Lawlor Mullins said after the meeting that she thought it was "great" that Faulk is running.
"I think youth is a good thing," she said. "But I also think age is a good thing."