Finlayson Council Passes Ordinance Dealing With Sex Offenders
At its April meeting, the Finlayson City Council passed an ordinance designed to significantly curtail convicted sexual offenders’ contact with children and others in the Finlayson community.
“The council was motivated to do what we could, to keep convicted sexual offenders from having contact with the children in our community”, stated Mayor Villarreal. “State law establishes the rights of sexual offenders who are being returned to communities – our ordinance establishes locations within the city where sexual offenders may not reside, and identifies certain holiday events where sexual offenders may not come into contact with children.”
The ordinance specifically identifies locations where children tend to congregate, such as schools, parks, day-cares, and playgrounds. The ordinance establishes a zone around these locations where sexual offenders may not reside.
City Clerk/ Administrator, Al Brigan explained, “The ordinance directs me to prepare a map of the locations in the city where sex offenders may not reside. Once Harvey Lindstrom (Finlayson Zoning Administrator) and I have prepared the map, it will become part of the ordinance.” Because landlords are prohibited from renting to convicted sex offenders if the rental property is within the restricted zone, it is important that land lords become aware of the ordinance. Brigan went on to say that “landlords should contact the city and review the map if they believe that their property might be affected.”
“The point of this ordinance is to protect the children of our community by placing reasonable restrictions on persons who have been convicted of sex crimes” reports Mayor Villarreal. “The council’s toolbox for dealing with sex offenders who are returned to our community is limited-we took the one clear option that was available to us and we are optimistic that the restrictions that we have created will lessen the chances of any member of our community becoming a victim of a previously convicted sex offender.”
Mayor Villarreal noted that, “In discussing this ordinance with our city attorney, we discovered that we may well be in the forefront of communities proactively addressing concerns of sex offenders being placed back into residential areas. The ordinance we adopted is a first step in addressing concerns about convicted sexual offenders being located in our residential areas.” Mayor Villarreal went on to say, “If we find there is more that needs to be done and if the council has the power to take additional action, we will do it.”
Ordinance 152 and the map showing the locations that sexual offenders are restricted from, is available at City Hall.
(Press release from Mayor Villarreal)