Friday, April 14, 2006

Not doing enough (inaction belies words)

From the New Jersey Herald:

Weighing a Ban on Offenders

OGDENSBURG — As part of what appears to be a trend among local towns, the borough put forward a law earlier this week to prohibit convicted sex offenders from living near schools, parks, libraries and child care centers.

The borough's proposed legislation came as Newton postponed a decision Monday on its own sex offender ordinance and, the following night, Franklin became the first municipality in the county to enact residency restrictions for sex offenders.

Like the Franklin law, the ordinance introduced Monday in Ogdensburg would ban sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet and from loitering within 100 feet of places where children gather. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

The proposed law would not apply to sex offenders who are currently residing within the borough. The state police's Offender Internet Registry shows that one moderate-risk offender lives on Passaic Avenue, a few blocks from Ogdensburg Elementary School.

Under the Ogdensburg proposal, an offender who moves into a restricted area would be sent a notice of violation informing the offender that he or she has 30 days to leave.

Ogdensburg Mayor Jacqueline Pietrodangelo said the Borough Council has been discussing a potential sex offender ordinance since Police Chief George Lott brought it to the governing body's attention two months ago. Pietrodangelo said the sex offender living in the borough and the actions taken in Newton and Franklin had no bearing on the borough's decision to consider the ordinance.

"It doesn't make sense, if there's a sex offender, why you would put them by kids?" Pietrodangelo said. "I think (the ordinance) will have a positive effect." [1]

Restricting sex offenders is in the best interest of the town and its residents, said Vito Telischak, co-owner of Roe's Day Care on Main Street. The day care center already has surveillance measures in place to protect the children, whose ages range from three days to 12 years old, but Telischak said the borough ordinance would provide an added sense of security.

"Our position is always, first and foremost, the safety of the children," [2]Telischak said. "You shouldn't put an (offender) in the position where they'll be tempted to repeat that behavior."

[1] Unlike Maplewood City Council Member Patricia Cave (noted in the previous post), Mayor Jacqueline Pietrodangelo is too lazy, too stupid, or too much the political panderer to actually do any research on the actual results in other locales of the measure she's pushing. But hey -- she's a politician, member of a breed lower even than used-car salesmen. So what if she messes up? Nobody's going to hold her to account.

[2] If your position is "always, first and foremost, the safety of the children," then you aren't doing nearly enough. Remember that over half the sex offenders convicted every year are first-time offenders. So, Mr. Vito Telischak, owner of Roe's Country Day Care, 330 Main St, Ogdensburg NJ, (973) 827-5775, what measures are you taking to keep your patrons safe from them -- other than taking videos of any assaults?


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