Twin Lakes continues work on sex offender ordinance despite state bill

The Twin Lakes Village Board is in favor of staff continuing to develop a sex offender residency ordinance despite a bill in the state legislature that — if passed — would supersede such local laws.

Village staff has been looking into such an ordinance for awhile at the initiative of police Chief Dale Racer. Several other local municipalities already have such laws, but Twin lakes code is silent on where released convicted sex offenders can live.

Meanwhile, 2009 Senate Bill 548 has been introduced in the state legislature. It would govern where sex offenders can live, but would supersede any local ordinances, David Cox, village administrator reported Monday night.

Though he received no firm opinion, Cox said a conversation with state Rep. Samantha Kerkman suggested the bill is not a shoe-in for passage since it does not have a lot of sponsors and that there are not a lot of days left in the current session.

“I think she was suggesting it’s kind of a long shot,” Cox said.

Trustees were firmly in favor of continuing to pursue a local ordinance.

“We want something in place even if the state overrules us,” said village President Howard Skinner.

In addition, Cox said the next Village Board meeting could include a visit from Department of Corrections officials who place sex offenders in the community. Cox  said he felt the village was obligated to notify them that the village was crafting a residency ordinance.

DOC officials did attend — and comment at — a Silver Lake Village Board meeting last May during which that village passed a similar ordinance.

Here’s a draft of the Twin Lakes ordinance. Mapping of the village done by Cox and Racer showed that the village may need to reduce the perimeter for child safety zones down from 2,000 feet, Cox said Monday.


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