Earlier this week, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced that he is planning to hold an East End Community meeting seeking public comment on the county's homeless sex offender trailer program on Jan. 30. The announcement comes after Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone missed a Jan. 1 deadline to shutter two controversial homeless sex offender trailers in Riverside and Westhampton.
Already the East End community is talking and Patch readers had a lot to say on the topic. The following is a round-up of their comments. Keep the conversation going, by adding your thoughts in the comment section below.
Frank Wheeler wrote, "'Legislator Jay Schneiderman vowed to host a community meeting to let residents' voices be heard.' And then what's he going to do? NOTHING! Schneiderman is a clown!"
The One said, "We do NOT need "public input". Why not call it a good ol' lynch mob? They'll give out torches and pitchforks sponsored by whoever is running for office this year, or maybe that idiot Ahern, who has created many outright lies to justify her corporation's existence."
Deb added, "Not ALL sex offenders are the kind that take children and do what they want - in fact that group is a small percentage but yet the politicians make it a fact and place in the public's mind that each and every one of them are. A percentage are young men who at the age of 19 had a physical relationship with a girl of 16 of which the parents knew about but once the girl got mad about something she crys wolf and the parents of that girl call the authorities."
Frank Wheeler responded, "People don't wind up in the sex offender trailers because of underage consensual relations, and possession of child pornography IS a serious crime."
Anne Marie offered, "I tend to agree with you, Deb... but chances are that the majority of people will not want to consider your thoughts b/c people with certain proclivities are labeled as "BAD PEOPLE" forever and ever... and no one can force change upon another person who doesn't want it. People tend to ostracize and cast out what they fear (sometimes for good reason, but often times for not..) instead of working with people to bring about a positive social change. People also classify other people in an unconscious caste system and in turn treat them either fantastically or abhorrent in either regard. It's a societal fact... But, who am I to judge?"
Jay Whitmire wrote, "First, residence laws force ex offenders to live where ever they can, sometimes no where. Then when a housing solution is found, the places they are allowed to live have a cow because so many congregate there because there are so few places to live in the first place. This is like "projects" for ex-offenders. They didn't work for the poor, they won't work in this case."
Acacia added, "The registry was created to keep tabs on people who were already the "weirdos"; the people on the fringe of society who had already been convicted or were deemed to have some psycho-social disorder that were constantly in and out of institutions and were hard to keep track of to begin with. This is not as black and white as you think it is; the problem is much broader then you probably are willing to even conceptualize. If you want to hear real facts, do some homework. Research it. Don't just assume."
And BarT wrote, "If society doesn't wake up, they will be creating in underclass of citizens that they will have to foot the bill to provide for."
- Public Input Sought on Homeless Sex Offender Trailers
- Schneiderman: Bellone Committed To Closing Sex Offender Trailers
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.