Washington Road resident Michael Sardella stood before the Scotia Village Board of Trustees Wednesday, May 9, asking for change. Sardella, a member of the group Scotia Neighbors Against Predators, or SNAP, said he would like to see the village propose a law similar to the one that is making its way through the Schenectady County Legislature, which would ban registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, childcare facilities, public playgrounds, and public and private youth centers.
We are asking you to change our local codes and laws. It is our responsibility to protect our children -- our No. 1 responsibility, said Sardella.
SNAP was formed in response to the decision made by Washington Road residents Bill and Lois Seyse to take in a convicted Level 3 sex offender. Richard R. Matthews III moved into the Seyse residence shortly after being charged with sexually assaulting three young children. Matthews is out on 10 years probation.
Sardella said he helped to collect 234 signatures from residents demanding a law to set guidelines for sex offenders.
"Ninety-five percent of those I asked to sign were immediately ready to sign," said Sardella.
Jeff Parry of Washington Road said he too collected signatures and told the board that he only encountered four people unwilling to sign, two of whom were former mayors.
"Each person who signed wanted to talk for 20 to 30 minutes. People feel many strong emotions about the Seyse decision. I also found it so ironic that two former mayors would not support us," said Parry.
Seyse is a former mayor of the village.
Stan Kubick lives next door to the Seyse family. Kubick moved into his home with his five young children not long before Matthews moved in. Kubick said his work as a contractor allows him to be in and out of his home during the day. Kubick said he feels uneasy when the children are outside playing and told the board he does not feel as though the children have been put at the forefront.