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City Council May Finally Resolve Debate: Should Sex Offenders Be Housed at Seaside?

With new members Adam Martinson and Doug Johnson sworn into office, the 2017 City Council poses together.
With new members Adam Martinson and Doug Johnson sworn into office, the 2017 City Council poses together. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM (2017)

Two pieces of unfinished business are on the Nome City Council’s agenda for tonight’s regular meeting.

One would change the code of ordinances to allow any person eighteen years or older who lives on the Nome road system to be eligible to be a port commissioner. According to the proposed ordinance, the Nome road system refers to all roads that are accessible via the Nome-Council highway, Kougarok road, or the Nome-Teller highway.

The other ordinance in the second reading phase would permit sex offenders who are actively receiving treatment to be housed at Seaside.

The superintendent of Anvil Mountain Correctional Center, Sandra Martinson, explained during the last City Council meeting that the plan is for sex offenders to serve most of their sentence in a jail or other facility, before being transferred to Seaside for treatment.

“We are getting them at the very end, right before DOC lets them out the door. We put them at Seaside, and then, that’s a transitional living environment; they will get treatment in there, in a confined setting where people can monitor and watch them to make sure they are not drinking, doing drugs, they are following rules. Eventually, once their treatment gets satisfied, then they can transition into employment, get jobs, and become productive people while still being monitored.”

According to Martinson, in addition to offering treatment to sex offenders housed at Seaside, AMCC plans on giving treatment to higher-level sex offenders who will remain at the jail.

Also on the City Council’s agenda are resolutions prioritizing the City’s federal and state legislative priorities. The Council could also authorize the beginning of the abatement process on four public nuisance properties if the majority of the councilmen vote in favor of the resolution.

Tonight’s regular City Council meeting begins at 7pm in City Hall.

Image at top: the 2017 Nome City Council. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM file (October 2017).

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