Council votes to continue existing juvenile curfew
The Mount Pleasant City Council, acting on the recommendation of Chief of Police Wayne Isbell, on Tuesday approved an ordinance continuing a juvenile curfew that has been in place since 2009.
The vote to continue the curfew followed a public hearing on the matter during which no one approached the council to speak. The council is required by state law to conduct such a hearing every three years to keep in place the curfew — which has been successful, according to Isbell.
“Late night juvenile criminal offenses are curtailed by the curfew ordinance,” he wrote in a letter to the council and City Manager Mike Ahrens. “The ordinance provides officers with the ability to stop, identify and return juveniles to guardians during curfew hours.
“The goal of the curfew is to reduce criminal behavior and protect juveniles from being victimized during curfew times.”
Juveniles are identified as people under 17 years of age.
Before the curfew was enacted, large numbers of offenses occurred during late night and early morning hours, according to Isbell.
“Even though most juveniles are law-abiding persons, being out during late night hours subjected many youths to become potentially involved in a criminal act or become victims of a crime,” he stated.
No changes were made to the existing curfew times. They remain:
• 11 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 6 a.m. the following mornings;
• Saturday and Sunday, 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Curfew violations can draw penalties ranging from warnings to community service, or fines deemed appropriate by the city court.
Also on Tuesday, the council approved a budget for the Mount Pleasant/Titus County Chamber and Visitors Council. The proposed 2018 budget shows income of $167,080 — and expenses of $167,080: $27,880 in visitor center expense; $46,200 in direct expenses; and $93,000 in promotional event expenses.
The council also took up — and approved — an item tabled during its last meeting, expansion of an exemption found in the city’s alcoholic beverages ordinance.
When the ordinance was originally adopted, it exempted restaurants serving alcohol in the central business district from the usual prohibition from being within 300 feet of a church. The amendment approved Tuesday expands that exemption to include “beer and wine sold for off-premise consumption.”
In other action Tuesday, the council approved voting for Buddy Blue, Greg Holt and Jimmy Reynolds to be elected to the Titus County Appraisal District board of directors.
During the public comments section of Tuesday’s meeting, Mike and Teresa Price expressed dissatisfaction and frustration with the handling of an incident that saw trees removed from their property during installation of a sewer line.