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Hesitant Hudson council advances sex offender ordinance

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The Hudson City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance at its Aug. 7 meeting that would restrict where convicted sexual offenders can reside in the city.

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The ordinance proposed by Alderman Randy Morrissette II would bar specified registered sexual offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of schools, daycare centers, public libraries, parks and playgrounds or within 1,000 feet of school bus stops, churches and other places where children congregate.

The ordinance is modeled after one adopted by Taylors Falls, Minn., that applies to people convicted of sexual crimes against children.

While the council unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed Hudson ordinance, the discussion about it suggested that some alderpersons will oppose it when the final vote is taken.

A major concern of those questioning the ordinance appeared to be the expense the city might incur defending it in court. It would be the first of its kind adopted by a Wisconsin municipality.

"My guess is that within about a nanosecond we will wind up in court" if the city adopts and attempts to enforce the ordinance, Council President Scot O'Malley said.

In a legal opinion on the proposed measure that the council asked her to prepare, City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick allowed that the ordinance might be challenged because it would effectively eliminate a person convicted of a sexual crime against children from living anywhere in the city.

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