Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WI - City Council Sends Sex Offender Ordinance Back to Committee

Original Article

06/19/2012

By Kate Raddatz

Green Bay - At a Green Bay city council meeting, members voted to send a proposal for a new sexual offender proximity and residency ordinance back to the city's Protection and Welfare Committee.

Alderman Mark Steuer said, "I think we need to be firm, but we need to be fair, so I, I rest my case."

The ordinance would build on the current sexual offender residence ordinance that prevents offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school, by also enforcing an additional 150 foot proximity limitation from those areas at all times.

The council was divided over delaying a decision.

"Obviously the 2,00-foot residency ordinance is not working, by the committee themselves said that tonight. I can't vote to approve something that we've already voted is not working," said Alderman Joe Moore.

Councilman Thomas De Wane disagreed, saying, "You're just waiting and pushing this back pushing this back. There's no reason to hold this up. Please don't."

The 150-foot proximity restriction was suggested after too many sex offenders were dropping off the grid by not reporting their addresses and living in the city despite the residency ordinance.

Those against the new ordinance want the 150-foot restriction to replace the current residency restriction, not add to it.

The council voted 6 to 5 to send the proposal back to the committee on June 25th for review.

"We all just kind of need to take a deep breath and say we want to do this right. There is no big rush other than the need to pursue this as quickly as we can, but to do it right," Alderwoman Amy Kocha said.