September 12, 2010

Montville suing state to keep out sex offender facility

Apparently "Whatever it takes to save one child" does not apply if its "in my backyard." When it gets too personal then attitudes change...
9-12-2010 Connecticut:

Montville, Conn. — The Town Council voted Wednesday to take the state to court to try to prevent a residential sex offender treatment facility from being built on Route 32.

After an hour of closed-door deliberations, the council voted 5-1 to have the town attorney file an injunction that, if approved by a judge, would halt construction of a proposed 24-bed rehabilitation center on the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center.

The state Department of Correction announced earlier this year it plans to open the $1 million complex Jan. 1. Middletown-based The Connections Inc. will operate the facility.

“I think it’s going to be a very interesting road we’re traveling,” council Chairwoman Donna Jacobson said after the vote. “Our elected duty is to provide safety and security for the residents of our town, but we have to go further and look out for future generations.”

Cost not revealed

Councilors would not comment on how much it would cost to pursue legal action, but Councilor Catherine Buebendorf voted against the proposal because of the expense.

“I’m adamantly opposed to a sex offender facility being built in Montville. I think it’s outrageous,” she said. “But I voted against this, because I think it’s a weak case, and I don’t think we should spend the money.”

Councilor Gary Murphy abstained, because he works for the state Department of Correction. Though opposed to the facility, he said he didn’t want to taint the town’s course of action by voting.

Several residents at Wednesday’s meeting backed the council’s vote.

“The notion of concentrating the reintroduction of sexual offenders into any municipality is a ridiculous idea,” resident Gary Pike said. “I don’t think it would fly in any town, and I don’t think it should fly here.”

State correction officials have said offenders who receive treatment at the Montville facility would be returned to their hometowns once they have gone through the program.

Proponents of the lawsuit pointed to the town’s history of using the courts to settle disputes.

“We paid millions and millions of dollars to fight Rand Whitney and didn’t even know if we had a shot,” resident James Andriote said. “Money should not be an object. You don’t know what you’re going to get unless you go forward.”

Councilors agreed, but promised to monitor spending.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep costs down and come out ahead,” Councilor Dana McFee said. “I definitely don’t want Montville to become known as the sex offender capital of the world.” ..Source.. ADAM BENSON, Norwich Bulletin

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