The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Monday, February 20, 2006


Last week, the City of Troy shut down 3215 Sixth Avenue for code violations. The address is one of the properties owned by Vesta, one arm of Father Peter Young's Rehab Empire. The City's pretext for shutting down the home was code violations. However, the address also housed four sex offenders (2 of them level three sex offenders). This was no secret. The NYS sex offender website contained this information and it was even discussed here, a few posts back, in the comments section.

So lets talk about what happened here: Harry wanted to look tough by rousting four sex offenders. The idea that this was about code violations may convince someone as sophisticated as Bo & Luke Duke, but we know a PR event when we see one. If it was just about code violations then the next building boarded up by Code Enforcement would be City Hall.

Afterward, there's headlines and Harry looks like a guy that "gets things done."

We have sex offenders in Troy, in Rensselaer County, in the region. They have done their prison time and live here. It's not nice, it's not comforting, it is a fact. This is not about whether they are evil or sick, it's not about whether they should ever be let out of prison. This is about doing our best to ensure they will not harm anyone again.

Until Harry's little PR show, four of the offenders could be found at one location. As one parole officer said to us, "that was great for headlines but it makes our work a lot harder." Now, they're scattered about the city and region.

The other fact is that sex offenders are 50% less likely to repeat offend if they are monitored and in a program. That does not make good headlines for politicians and it's not viscerally pleasing to the large portion of our population that is as politically sophisticated as Ernst Rohm.

This wasn't about code violations. This was about headlines. It makes law enforcement's job more difficult and all of our children less safe.

If you want to get angry, perhaps you should look at who is selling property to Father Young and Vesta. Lead by example? Not if a hefty profit is involved.

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