Stratford approves residency ordinance
The Stratford Village Board approved a new sex offender residency ordinance at its meeting on Dec. 10.
Stratford police chief Tim Miller received a few inquiries last summer from sex offenders, who are no longer under state supervision, wanting to move into the village. Hearing this news prompted Miller to research and discover the village didn’t have a sex offender residency ordinance. He sought legal advice from the village attorney and drafted sex offender residency and loitering ordinances. The sex offender loitering ordinance applies to both village resident and non-resident sex offenders.
Miller said the village’s new sex offender residency ordinance only takes effect when sex offenders are no longer under state supervision. He is hoping, however, the village’s new sex offender residency ordinance would deter sex offenders from moving into the village in the first place under state supervision.
“We can’t make our village ordinance so restrictive that it eliminates all housing in the village,” he said. “I think our ordinance is fair to sex offenders, but it gives us the tools to sufficiently create safe distances. With that being said, the attorney and I feel the ordinance is good and should protect the village against any legal challenges.”
The village of Stratford’s sex offender residency ordinance states a sex offender can’t live less than 1,000 feet from any school premises, child care facility, public park, place of worship or youth center. The ordinance reads the 1,000 feet should be measured by following a straight line from the outer boundary of the property where the sex offender lives to the outer boundary of the restricted location.
The village ordinance also states anyone who has committed a sexually violent offense against an adult isn’t allowed to reside less than 1,000 feet from a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Stratford’s sex offender loitering ordinance says any registered state sex offender isn’t allowed to be traveling outside his or her residence within 150 feet of the following locations in the village: Any school premises, child care facility, public park, place of worship, youth center, nursing home or assisted living facility.
A sex offender may appeal for a variance from the village’s sex offender ordinances, in which a Sex Offender Appeals Board consisting of village residents would hear the person’s argument. The Sex Offender Appeals Board should be constituted of the same membership as the village Public Safety Committee, but village of Stratford president Keith Grell may appoint additional village residents to the Sex Offender Appeals Board.
In other village news:
_ The Stratford Village Board accepted village president Keith Grell’s recommendation to appoint Terri Wiersma as village clerk this past Monday, Dec. 16. Wiersma replaces longtime village clerk June Krueger, who will assist Wiersma with her job duties until she retires on Jan. 15, 2020.
Village board members approved an addition to the employee handbook regarding payment options for vacation and sick leave balances left when employees retire or their job is terminated. The village board then approved a request from Krueger to pay out her unused vacation and sick leave balances in 2019.
_ The village board approved to purchase a section of the AMS Bowfi shing property in the Stratford Business/ Industrial Park for $1,680. t _ A new village of Stratford policy would grant comp time in lieu of overtime pay for hourly employees for a oneyear trial period, as recommended by the village personnel committee.
_ Scott Casanova, owner of the property in the Stratford Business/ Industrial Park where a cell phone tower is located, addressed the village board to protest the special assessment for improvements made to the cell tower parcel completed by Haas Sons, Inc. as part of the 2017 Business/Industrial Park expansion project. Casanova requested the village board provide criteria used to “reinstate the charges after the June 2019 waiving of the charge.”
Village board members explained to Casanova the June 2019 reduction in the Haas Sons contract had since been reported to the board as “complete and unacceptable” by the village’s project engineer from MSA Professional Services. The contract change order which included the cell phone tower work has been paid and the special assessment stands, therefore the village board didn’t take any action on Casanova’s request.