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Considerate Commissioners Meet Tonight

SANATOGA PA – When the Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township Board of Commissioners canceled its second meeting last month, according to board member Anthony Doyle, “there wasn’t enough on the agenda” worth meeting about. So to save their time and that of the public, Doyle said recently, commissioners simply called the whole thing off.

Considerate politicians. Imagine that.

Pennsylvania's sex offender registry website.

Pennsylvania's sex offender registry website.

Tonight (Monday, Feb. 2, 2009), it seems, there is enough to talk about. The board, which had been scheduled to meet Jan. 22 (2009) to conduct a public hearing on a proposed sex offender residency law, will convene at 7 p.m. in the township municipal building at 2199 Buchert Rd. The public may attend.

Apparently – again according to Doyle, who discussed the matter while attending a different public hearing in Limerick – the board was advised it could postpone the Jan. 22 residency law hearing without the need to publish another legal notice announcing its new date. It is assumed, but not yet known for certain, that the delayed hearing will be held tonight.

Assumption is necessary because, as of 5 a.m. today, the board’s meeting agenda was not yet available for download from its website. The most recent download was the agenda for the board’s earlier meeting of Jan. 5 (2009); a new agenda is likely to be available later this morning.

Board members declared their interest in limiting where adult sex offenders could live within the township in August 2008,  after residents of Oak Drive expressed concerns about “a sexual predator” residing in their neighborhood.” Municipalities across the country have enacted laws like that being considered for Lower Pottsgrove, with varying restrictions.

In its Jan. 12 legal notice advertising the later-postponed Jan. 22 hearing, the township contends “Sexual Offenders pose a high risk of engaging in further offenses after incarceration and release into (the) community, which affects the general safety, welfare, and best interests of the public.” It also notes the state “has no laws which adequately prohibit or restrict Sexual Offenders from residing or living near areas where children regularly meet or congregate.”

Based solely on the list of definitions advertised then as part of the proposed law, it appeared the township would attempt to restrict sex offenders from living within a specific distance of a child care facility, open space, community center, or public park or recreational facility. The distance itself is not identified in the legal notice.

Website image from the state of Pennsylvania

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