Town Council President Now Says Repeal of Child Safety Zones Must Go to Public First

The Council voted to repeal the Child Zones after Council President says if one is repealed they both need to be.


After the majority Town Council vote to repeal the Senior Safety Zones, which was done in response to both a petition calling for repeal and the vote of the Commission on Aging to hold off on the controversial ordinance, Council President Candy Buebendorf asked for a vote on the repeal of a similar ordinance: the Child Safety Zones. She said ““My intention is, if (the senior safety zones) are a violation of civil rights than we need to be consistent. I feel we must rescind both.”

Almost immediately after that vote, residents and other town officials were questioning the legality of the move.

When asked by Montville Patch if the vote she called for was not properly introduced and voted upon per the rules of the Town Charter, Buebendorf agreed it was.

“That is correct. To repeal the ordinance we need an ordinance to repeal, which needs to go through public hearing before a vote,” Buebendorf responded in an email. “It will be introduced in that form at the next council meeting.”

Before Buebendorf called for the vote, Town Councilor Laura Tanner asked Town Councilor Rosetta Jones – who has been vocal in her opposition to the Senior Safety Zone ordinance because of what she has maintained is its ineffectiveness in keeping seniors safe and for opening the town up to a potential legal challenge by the ACLU – if she also wants to get rid of the child safety zones.

“Thanks for setting me up,” Rosetta Jones added quickly and within minutes, Buebendorf had called for a vote to repeal the child safety zones law.

Jones, Town Councilor Dana McFee and other town officials as well as residents have alleged the council moved to throw in the repeal of the child zones to cast opponents in a negative light.

In a letter to the editor, McFee said the move was “an obvious attempt to cast us in negative light to parents that support Child Safety Zones by blaming our repeal efforts of the senior zones as reason to repeal the child zones.”

Jones said the vote was “another illustration of the Democratic leadership’s impulsive reaction behavior to (weld) their majority power, at the expense of the taxpayer,” in an emailed statement.

“The repeal on the Child Safety Zone cannot be done by simply resolution. So it was illegal,” she wrote. “I simply couldn't buy into their diversion tactics, and had to stay focused on the Senior Safety Ordinance. I knew the action would have to be re-dressed by the citizens at a future public hearing.”

And apparently now it will be. The Council next meets Feb. 11 and the public hearing will likely be on the agenda.

 A little history

The law would have prohibited sex offenders from coming in to contact with senior citizens and face a $99 fine if they violated the ordinance. Opponents called the law unenforceable and unconstitutional.

Earlier this month, Commission on Aging members told Council liaison Billy Caron the town should back off the ordinance and wait to see if the state moves on enacting legislation. A bill made it through committee last year but did not make it past both General Assembly houses.

But Montville Senior and Social Service director Kathleen Doherty-Peck as well as a group of seniors including Senior Center president Sandy Stauffer lobbied for the Council to preserve the law citing a number of newspaper and other media reports of seniors being sexually assaulted.

Here’s where you will find more on the Senior Safety and Child Safety Zones.

Dana McFee January 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Council chairwoman Buebendorf was so quick to criticize former council chair Jacobson in last council for any little thing she could think of, and yet in her recent term she has made a comedy of errors that have cost the tax payers plenty. The time has come for her to step down before any more foul ups. You up for the job Billy? Or how about "good ole Joe”? Now that would be entertaining!!!
Vicky January 17, 2013 at 01:34 PM
If those are our only options for chairman god help us all.
Mary Hendriks January 17, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I think billy messed up more than anyone. He was asked by the commission on aging to repeal the senior safety zones until the state did something. Nobody spoke to repeal the child saftey zones. If billy only does what his voting block of seniors does than I think all parents need to hold him accountable. Maybe they need to boycott his construction business.
MSR-33 January 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM
I think we all know that billy is no leader and only does what his party tells him to do. While billy is a nice guy he never does anything but throw some money around to keep people happy. It's a well known fact he buys his votes. One year he went so far as to buy the entire graduating class a pen set with his name on it. Other times he has the cross country team wearing vote fir billy tee shirts. Very sad only in Montville
Eye-Spy January 17, 2013 at 03:04 PM
To iron-man don't worry it's all being documented and the hammer will fall. There is a new guest from the wpca now going up there also. These fools think they are above the law well read the papers crocked politicians get arrested all the time.
jeanette January 17, 2013 at 03:36 PM
So hoping these jerks dont get re elected in november!!!!!
Kathy syliva January 17, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Is there any way or petition we as tax payers can take out to remove these people from office? If month after month they do what they want, won't listen to thier constinutuents and cost us money they should not be allowed to remain in office.
Meredith Tiffany January 17, 2013 at 06:35 PM
All I have to say is after watching all the BS comments on the patch from people who are "running" our town and trying to bash the other guy who is NOT bashing you on a public forum. I will NOT be voting for you and your childish behaviors. I will be voting to re-elect the ones who don't run their mouths and bad mouth other council members.
Brian January 17, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Meridedith, maybe you should attend the meetings and see how the "one who don't run their mouths" attack in public and screw up everything they do. It's because of uneducated people that keep Montville in the dark ages and reelect fools. Be careful what you vote for you just might get them.
Meredith Tiffany January 17, 2013 at 06:44 PM
The ones I voted for I will vote to re-elect because I am very happy with them, thank you. I've lived in this town my entire life so I'm not uneducated at all and I don't believe a word of the non-sense that people who hide behind screen names write on here.
Jerry January 17, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Meredith, good for you. It is a pleasure to read a comment from a reasonable, thinking adult for a change. The very vocal and vindictive minority speak out without offering a single constructive thought.


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