By BOB COUPLAND
GIRARD - City council voted unanimously Monday to prohibit registered sex offenders who live in the city from taking part in any trick-or-treat events on Oct. 31.
Fourth Ward Councilman Thomas Grumley, chairman of the employee welfare committee, introduced the legislation earlier this month. The legislation received an emergency passage and goes into effect today.
''I have heard nothing but positive comments about this since it was first brought up,'' said Council President Reynald Paolone.
Grumley said he introduced the legislation for the safety and protection of children who on Oct. 31 will be going door-to-door throughout the city.
He said all registered sex offenders in the city, of which he said there are 10, will be given a copy of the legislation by police explaining what they or anyone in the same household are permitted to do.
''They will not be able to decorate or have any lights on or pass out any candy,'' Grumley said.
- And so you are punishing the offenders as well as their family and children due to nothing more than mass hysteria.
Officials said of the sex offenders in the city, 70 percent have convictions involving minors.
According to the legislation, registered sex offenders will be required from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Oct. 31 of each year to leave all exterior, decorative and ornamental lighting off starting at 5 p.m., refrain from decorating the front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween items and not answer the door to children trick-or-treating.
Grumley said police also will be monitoring the neighborhoods and keeping an eye on the homes.
Violators will face a minor misdemeanor.
In other business, council approved advertising for purchase and installation of radio frequency water meters.
First Ward Councilman Frank Migliozzi, who serves on the safety committee, said with new technology the entire city will be able to have all meters read in four hours, or a half-day by computer, as compared to part-time meter readers who have to go door-to-door and check meters inside homes.
''They will be able to do this in half a day which will save both time and money,'' Migliozzi said.
Officials said the city needs to replace existing water meters with the radio frequency meters to accurately bill for water usage.
Earlier this month, council had presentations on the water meter programs available.