Monday, April 16, 2007

Community Communication

The most recent issue of Irvington this week marks nearly five years of the Irvington Community Council sending out an emailed newsletter and now 34 years of, in some way, informing you about what the Council does and what is happening in the community. For the past 52 issues, the newsletter has been published weekly. We hope you have found the past 52 weeks informative and enjoyable. We are planning to again make improvements to not only this newsletter but other ways we communicate with the Irvington community and would greatly appreciate your comments.

How can we improve the Irvington this week newsletter? What do you like or don't like? What would you like to see added or removed? Are there other ways you would prefer receiving community news?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Registered Sex Offenders

As many of you may know, some of the apartments and business owners along East Washington Street cater to a cliental that is not typically found in Irvington. In particular, the Indiana Sheriff’s Sex Offender Registry has indicated that several people listed on that registry now reside in buildings along East Washington Street.

Two years ago when the current Board of Directors of the Irvington Community Council was elected to office, they were asked to establish a goal or project that they as a Board wished to focus on for their two-year term. The Council voted to focus on crime in Irvington. This is a mammoth undertaking and one that reaches far beyond Irvington. But none the less, the Council began the task. We began with community meetings to ask what issues or problems would be best to address. The meetings were not well attended, but none the less the Council set out to make a difference focusing first on East Washington Street. As part of that focus, the Council began discussions with the apartment owners along East Washington Street. In particular was an apartment building that housed large number of people who appeared on the Indiana Sheriff’s Sex Offender Registry. That effort continues today to include a variety of issues and most of the larger apartment building owners. In November 2005 the Council voted unanimously to ask the City to review the motel license for the Indy East Motel (5855 East Washington Street) – an effort that also continues today. Over the past several months, more and more people who appear on the Indiana Sheriff’s Sex Offender Registry were claiming residency at the Indy East Motel. Again the number of registered sex offenders seemed unreasonable to have housed in one location, especially in a business that has, according to City officials, had nearly 900 police runs in a recent five year period. When this information came to the attention of the Council, we began contacting the Department of Corrections as well as many, if not all, of our elected officials.

This morning the Council received a telephone call from the Office of the Governor stating that the registered sex offenders placed in Irvington by the Department of Corrections will be relocated outside of Irvington. For security reasons, few details can be released, but we were assured this morning that relocation would begin soon and be completed in a reasonable time and that this effort is not limited to those currently housed at the Indy East Motel.

We would like to thank all those who helped in our effort, including Jeff Bennett the Warren Township Trustee, Sheriff Frank Anderson and his staff that work with registered sex offenders, State Representative Larry Buell, State Senator Pat Miller, the Office of the Governor, the Department of Corrections and those on the Council who gave their time, as well as all of you who contacted your elected representatives and the Department of Corrections.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Indy East Motel Hearing Update

With nearly 20 Irvington residents present and just over two hours of discussion, the hearing about the license for the Indy East Motel was continued. The date for the continued hearing was not announced but four dates within the next two weeks were offered by the Court for all parties to find an agreeable date.

The hearing started with the first of the two items to be discussed, the request by the attorney for the Indy East Motel to have the November 2006 decision of the License Review Board reviewed by the Court. Attorneys for the City had filed a motion that the Indy East Motel's request for review improperly stated the process under which the issue would be reviewed. Judge Keele took the matter under advisement.

The main issue to be discussed was the City's request to have the stay issued last May removed. Once the stay is remove, the City could proceed with the process to close the Indy East Motel. Before the issue of the stay could be discussed, the attorney for the Indy East Motel challenged a ruling made by Judge Keele earlier this week that quashed two subpoenas served at the request of the Indy East Motel on the Mayor of Indianapolis and the City's Chief Information Officer. After much discussion and a 10 minute recess, Judge Keele determined that testimony from these two individuals may be important to this action and would provide due process for the Indy East Motel owner. To limit any delays, Judge Keele offered four (4) dates, two each for the next two weeks, for the attorneys and City officials to verify schedules and agree to appear.

Once we know the new date and time, we will post it on our website, newsletter, and this blog as well as notices in some of the storefronts in Irvington. If you have questions, we will do the best we can to answer them.