continued Benedict said the town law defines motels as “transient” places, yet many of the people staying in the motels use them as a permanent residence where they’re registered to vote and where school busses pick up children.
“If these motels are truly to continue to operate under the guise of a motel, they must comply with the definition,” Benedict said.
Benedict said the town has not made any effort to enforce the law.
Town Supervisor Paula Mahan disagreed, saying the town put the moratorium in place and decreased the number of sex offenders staying in the motels.
“There is more control over what’s being built with the protection of the residents and to promote good, quality business,” Mahan said.
Magguilli said it is difficult to regulate the town’s transient definition, since a person can just check out and check right back in.
Mahan also pointed the finger at the county, saying sex offenders are being driven to the Route 5 corridor. McCauley expressed the same thoughts in the public hearing.
“I feel the Town of Colonie definitely has been a kind of dumping ground (for sex offenders). I just wish there was a way … (to) make living in that part of Colonie a little more better,” McCauley said.
From other speakers came tales of day-to-day troubles that originate in the hotels and motels. Dawn Morrison, who works at the Church of St. Clare on Central Avenue, said they recently added in a security system because the sex offenders and parolees they see every day can often be aggressive and demanding.
“They come for bus tokens, they come for gift certificates, they come for food. They want help with rent. We keep telling them we’re not an agency,” Morrison said. “They openly tell us they were just released from prison.”