Ordinance would keep sex offenders from living in Vernon

VERNON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Vernon City Council is in the process of adopting an ordinance that would prohibit sex offenders and predators from living in the city limits.

Both Bonifay and Chipley have adopted a similar ordinance, causing more offenders to move into Vernon.

"It was actually recommended by our attorney because she has been working with other communities who are adopting the ordinances and so she said it would be a good idea for us to address the issue," Vernon mayor Tina Sloan said.

Sloan said seven sex offenders live in Vernon, but not all of them reside in the city limits.

Those already living within the city limits will be "grandfathered in."

"If you already live in the city limits and you change addresses, you relocate inside the city limits, those will be addressed on a case-by-case basis with the council," Sloan said.

The council has held two public hearings on the proposed ordinance so far.

"When we call for public participation, there hasn't been any objections," Sloan said.

The ordinance will become law after the final reading. It has one more reading before it's adopted. That meeting date has not been set.

The Wausau Town Council is also considering a similar ordinance. The council will discuss the proposed ordinance at a meeting Thursday night at 6:00 p.m.