Marion city council adopted stricter sex offender laws Monday night.
Councilman Josh Daniels pushed for the new ordinance.
Last summer, a sex offender moved in next door to him and his family.
"That is 550 feet and that is the playground of George Washington School. This is where the offender lived," Daniels said.
That's not allowed. Law says 1,000 feet from schools and daycares.
"There's a creeper next door. We have to watch out when I'm playing in the yard," Beau Daniels, 5, said.
"You shouldn't have to have your 5 year old know that," said Daniels.
The only recourse is to have the offender evicted if they're in an area they're not supposed to be. It's not a criminal offense. Daniels couldn't change that, but he could tighten the existing ordinance. He added to the list of places sex offenders can't live near.
The measure basically covers anywhere children gather. It includes the YMCA, Boys and Girls clubs, libraries and public parks.
The ordinance leaves about 45% of the city as a viable option for sex offenders.
"It sounds good, but they have rights too. They have to have some place to stay," said Marion resident Lisa Berringer.
Berringer lives right by the library. Sex offenders have lived on her street, but won't anymore.
"I'm kind of surprised. I think it's already difficult for them to find a place to live that's not near a school," Berringer said.
Daniels says he's only heard from three people opposing the measure. He backed off his original pitch of keeping offenders 1,500 feet away. Council didn't want it challenged in court.
"Saying that we were acting punitively instead protectively for our children," said Daniels.
But to Daniels, it is about the children and keeping sex offenders far away.
Council voted on the measure Monday night. It passed unanimously.
If sex offenders already live closer than 1,000 feet from the added places, they can stay. The law is not retroactive.
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