Twin Lakes passes sex offender residency ordinance and opposes state bill

This map shows approximate perimeters under two versions of the Twin Lakes sex offender residency ordinance. The yellow perimeter of 1,200 feet was passed. The more restrictive 2,000 feet (green) was considered earlier. (Click for larger view)

The Twin Lakes Village Board took two actions regarding sex offender residency Monday night — passing its first ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live and opposing a state Senate bill that seeks to make such regulation a state matter. Village staff has been working on — and the Village Board has been discussing — a residency ordinance the last few months. Silver Lake, Paddock Lake, Bristol, Salem and Wheatland already have similar laws.

Like most other local ordinances of this type, the Twin Lakes law restricts how close a convicted sex offender can live to certain places where children congregate, such as schools, parks and daycare facilities. Earlier drafts of the Twin Lakes ordinance established a 2,000 foot perimeter. But the ordinance approved Monday has a 1,200 foot  perimeter.

The smaller perimeter was used because the larger one — though typical of many municipal laws — essentially eliminated the whole village, David Cox, village administrator explained (see map above).

Right after passing the ordinance the board considered a resolution stating opposition to the state passing a law that would regulate residency of sex offenders and supersede all local ordinances.

Kevin Fitzgerald

Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald expressed support for a state approach rather than a patchwork of different local laws.

“I think it should be at the state level,” Fitzgerald said. “I think it should be left the same for all municipalities.”

But other trustees were strongly opposed to the proposed state law.

“I think the state has its nose in our business too much …,” said village President Howard Skinner. “We make our own rules; we enforce our own rules.”

The resolution opposing the state action passed with Fitzgerald voting no.


Comments are closed.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives