Updated: Tuesday, 15 Jan 2013, 7:30 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 15 Jan 2013, 7:30 PM EST
MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) -- A change of heart on two ordinances meant to protect senior citizens and children from sex offenders in Montville. The ordinances have been in effect for a short time but now they've been pulled.
As soon as this sex offender treatment facility became part of Montville, council members listened to residents and felt overprotecting seniors and children was the right thing to do.
"Just to add another layer of security for the residents of the town," said Rosetta Jones the Montville Town Councilor.
So just a few months ago they passed ordinances banning sex offenders from places like parks, playgrounds and senior centers.
"If they so enetered those zones they wouldve been fined 99 dollars," said Jones.
Then the American Civil Liberties Union let them know the risk of a future lawsuit with these drastic measures. Councilor Rosetta Jones says she and many of the council members thought from the beginning this ordinance would come with issues and no real protection so she went out and got over 500 people to sign a petition to revoke the ordinance pertaining to seniors.
Last night, the council voted unanimously to do just that.
Several council members say the issue on child safety zones was not on the agenda, so the vote to revoke it cannot stand, at least not yet.
Councilman Dana Mcfee says that's why he wouldn't even vote on this one. Jones says there must be a public hearing first to repeal it. Jones and Mcfee say either way, they don't feel this strict law will do anything to deter sex offenders from kids.
"I'm not trying to protect sex offenders, okay? I want to be really really clear on that," said Jones.
They worry the sex offender registry will be accessed more often to harrass these offenders.
"It looks like this may run counter," said Jones.
Some Montville residents have different opinions.
"Why wouldn't we have it? What does it hurt," one resident said.
"I think all kids have rights to and I think they should be better protected. Not that the offender shouldn't be protected either, but really it's a catch 22," said Lillian Helligar of Montville.
Jones says it's best to let the General Assembly take the lead on the best model policy.