By STACY MILLBERG
ORWELL - Proposed legislation in the village could prohibit registered sex offenders from celebrating Halloween.
The proposed ordinance would establish a number of restrictions for registered sex offenders on Halloween.
Orwell Village Manager Jack Nettis said he believes there are other communities that have passed similar legislation; however, Orwell would be the first community in Ashtabula County to do so.
According to the ordinance, the purpose of the legislation is to “protect children from the dangers posed by sex offenders convicted of offenses against minors.”
The ordinance would require any sex offenders to abide by certain restrictions between the hours of midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 and/or any other night that might be designated as Halloween by the village.
Sex offenders would be required to leave all exterior residential, decorative and ornamental lighting off during the evening hours, beginning at 5 p.m. until midnight; refrain from decorating his or her front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween decorations; and refrain from answering the door to children who are trick-or-treating, according to the ordinance.
If the ordinance is violated, the person would be charged with a misdemeanor, according to the ordinance.
Nettis said council is taking its time to consider all the ramifications that might come from passing the legislation. The ordinance will go through the required three readings before being put to a vote. Nettis said it also gives the public an opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposed measure as well.
The ordinance was a suggestion by Village Police Chief Chad Fernandez, he said.
“His feeling was it was just one more measure we can take to ensure the safety of our children,” Nettis said.
- Not including making himself look good to the sheeple.
Council held a second reading of the ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday. The measure will be voted on at next month’s regular meeting Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.