Friday, September 27, 2013

ME - Wilton considers sex offender ordinance after learning three offenders live by park

Residency "Buffer" ZonesOriginal Article


By Ann Bryant

UPDATE: Wilton board drops sex offender residency proposal

WILTON - The Board of Selectmen considered then tabled action on development of a sex offender residency ordinance on Tuesday.

Selectman Tiffany Maiuri proposed asking the Ordinance Committee to draft a such a law.

It recently came to light that there are three sex offenders, who were convicted on felony charges, living across the street from a town park, she said.

Based on an established ordinance from the town of Sebago, adopted in 2010, Maiuri proposed the ordinance to restrict sex offenders, people convicted on a felony charge for committing an offense on a child under age 14, from living within 750 feet from a public or private school or municipal property used by children such as a park, recreational facility or athletic field.

The Sebago ordinance acknowledges its purpose is to protect children because sex offenders who prey on children are at a higher risk of re-offending, Maiuri said.
- That is simply not true based on the many studies that are out there.

Those already living near a school or park would be grandfathered, she said. They would not be in violation if they established residency before the town ordinance was enacted.

Board members raised several questions and unanimously decided to seek more information before pursuing an ordinance.

Although he supported the measure, Selectman Tom Saviello cautioned how an ordinance like this can create a “false sense of security.”

Parents think it’s a safe zone,” he said.

As a landlord, Selectman Paul Berkey questioned how a landlord was suppose to know if a potential renter is a sex offender.

How are they going to be screened?” he asked. How do landlords protect themselves and would he be discriminating if he asked the person if he or she was a sex offender, he asked.

Board members thought it shouldn’t be up to the landlord or person selling a home.

Selectman Terry Brann wanted police Chief Heidi Wilcox to speak to the board because police would enforce the ordinance.

There are so many laws on the books that are not being enforced now,” Brann said, and he is hesitant to add another town ordinance.

The board also wanted Town Manager Rhonda Irish to contact the Sebago and ask some of members’ questions, especially those about how the ordinance is enforced.

Later in the meeting, members asked Brann what ordinances were not being enforced. He said parking within the downtown area.


dlc said...

Sounds like the town needs another useless ordinance. Studies show this lady's comments to be wrong. Why are people afraid to call her out on it? They probably held the meeting in a location where sex offenders can't go. That happens in many states all the time. They hold council meetings in schools or other locations so the sex offenders can't speak for themselves.

dlc said...

Yeah, Let me give you a suggestion. Give them a chance. If they are first time offenders and have served their time, help them to reintegrate into society instead of placing them into a sex offender treatment facility. The lock-em-up mentality is not maintainable and it serves no useful purpose, except to line this new industries pockets at the expense of the public and the individual offender.

bkzalley said...

Offenders go through whatever system they choose, only to be released to what? Banishment ? No prospect of work or a home? Into communities that don't want them there? Whatever they think is in the safety of the public, is not going to happen, because the offenders will commit other crimes just to survive.