Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Front Royal Virginia Wants to Restrict the Employment Opportunities of Registered Sex Offenders

Over the last five years of advocating here in Virginia I have always been grateful for one thing, that in Virginia laws governing Registered Sex Offenders are done at a state level and not at a local level (county/city) like in California or Florida. For RSO’s to navigate the invisible lines of counties and cities for them to stay complaint, employed and housed is an unnecessary burden and in my opinion solidifies the governing laws as punitive as opposed to constitutionally approved, administrative.  

One county will want to out-do the next county in chasing out the RSO’s completely, a "not-in my-backyard" mentality takes over from county to county making re-entry, stable employment, stable housing and family support an impossible goal. 

Well it seems Front Royal, Virginia’s Town Council wants to start legislating the employment opportunities for Registered Sex Offenders, per the below article.

At this point it’s just a request for an A.G.’s opinion, but it’s a step that I have not seen taken in my state until today. 

If legislating RSO’s becomes a local issue here in Virginia, I’m ready to deliver the facts, data and opposition to fear-based local ordinances if needed in the Commonwealth. Even though I am very leery that local laws against RSO’s are even allowed in Virginia and if needed perhaps a court will need to decide the legitimacy of such ordinances.
Mary Devoy

Front Royal seeks legal opinion on taxi rules, August 20, 2013
By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL -- Town Council wants to hear from the state attorney general's office before considering stricter rules on taxis.

Most councilmen at a work session Monday agreed that the town should ask for an opinion on any proposed ordinance that would regulate taxi companies in Front Royal. Council and staff, along with representatives of companies operating in Front Royal, continue to discuss the matter.

Town Attorney Douglas Napier will submit a request to the attorney general's office seeking a legal opinion on the limitations Front Royal can enact on taxicab firms. Napier likely will ask the attorney general if Front Royal can prohibit taxi companies from allowing people registered with the state police as convicted sex offenders. Council and staff also have discussed the possibility of restricting anyone convicted of a violent felony from operating a cab.

Mayor Timothy Darr advised council that the matter before it Monday related only to whether or not the town should file a formal request for the opinion.

The state allows jurisdictions to pass ordinances that regulate taxi businesses. Whether Front Royal can take the power further and enact laws that affect a business remains uncertain.

Council would need to hold a public hearing on an ordinance that would regulate taxis.

Councilman Daryl Funk suggested the town seek the attorney general's opinion before members impede on a business.

"How broad a net can we cast?" Funk asked. "I think that's information we should have, again, before we go taking away anybody's job."

Virginia Beach Mother Wants School Bus to Do a Backwards Maneuver to Avoid a Registered Sex Offenders Home

This isn’t the first time a Virginia television news program has been contacted by an angry or “concerned” parent about a bus stop location and an RSO's residence and it won’t be the last, see recent article below. 

With this recent article, I foresee a lawmaker proposing a bill in 2014 against RSO’s and bus stops. Now the question is, how broad will it be?

Be sure to see the August 26th Post for more information on past proposals in Virginia against RSO's and school bus stops and residency restrictions.

Mary Devoy

Mom fights school over bus stop location By Stephanie Harris

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A Virginia Beach Mom contacted 10 On Your Side for help when she realized her daughter's school bus stop is located near potentially dangerous people. 

Gina Brannon wants the Virginia Beach School District to move her daughter's bus stop so the 10-year-old doesn't have to walk past a registered sex offender's home. 

"Its like dangling a carrot in front of a hungry animal," she told 

Brannon asked the her daughter's school to change the stop, but her request was denied. Virginia Beach Public Schools spoke with about the request. 

"[Where the Brannon's want the bus to stop] is a cul de sac and would require a full-sized general education bus to perform a backing maneuver to make the additional stop, which is not in accordance with current policy and practice," said Lauren Wicks, a VB schools spokeswoman. 

But Brannon says she's seen other school buses make the maneuver. 

"There's a special education bus that comes every day and picks up a child, and it’s the same size bus, and it makes it through that cul de sac every time," Brannon said.