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Mabton considers beefing up youth curfew

MABTON - The Mabton City Council heard from City Administrator Ildia Jackson last night on possible changes to the parental responsibility ordinance.

To clear up any misunderstandings, Jackson said the word "Parent" should be defined as the natural or adopted mother or father, guardian or other adult person having the legal care, custody or control of a minor.

"Public place" means any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, park, playground or other place to which the general public has access and a right to be there for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose, she explained.

The language detailing the hours youths can not be in public places will change, too, if adopted by the council. It's proposed the day hours between 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will be eliminated from the ordinance.

The night hours banning youths from public places will be midnight to 5 a.m. for all nights of the week. According to Jackson, this should take care of the majority of issues regarding school and church related functions as most end earlier in the evening.

It's also been proposed the penalty language portion of the ordinance be changed. The new language will give an exact amount for a fine instead of a range that an officer has to decide on. An example would be the first violation - $100, second violation - $200 and the third violation - $300. Each additional violation would be $300 if the change is approved.

Jackson said these were just recommendations and nothing has been decided yet. She added she hopes there will be a public hearing in early May before the council is asked to adopt the new recommendations.

The parental responsibility ordinance is already on the books but has not been enforced of late due to low crime.

Lately, there has been some graffiti and vandalism cases so city leaders are looking to start enforcing the ordinance again.

Also at last night's council meeting, it was announced the April 11 council meeting will be canceled.

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