The child sex offender law proposed by Mayor Ted Bettencourt is back before the City Council Thursday night for adoption.
Given councilors' pledges of support two months ago, the vote should be entirely with Bettencourt again.
The local ordinance seeks to create "child safety zones" and specifically target convicted Level 2 and Level 3 child sex offenders in terms of barring them from such designated areas, which would encompass city schools, libraries, parks and other recreational areas.
The Police Department would have discretion to determine if an actual offense occurred, and repeat violators of the ordinance or those who refused to comply with police orders could face fines and/or criminal charges.
Bettencourt's proposal is modeled after a local law in New Bedford that's been in place since 2008 and isn't currently facing a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union unlike the situation in Lynn.
Bettencourt said he purposefully steered clear of trying to dictate where child sex offenders could live in Peabody or specific proximity to child safety zones, which is what Lynn is being challenged on now.
If those provisions were deemed constitutional by a judge, Bettencourt said, he would seek to add them as well.
He told councilors that if an appeal of Peabody's ordinance is taken and a judge rules against the constitutionality of certain measures, the city will just have to tweak the law to comply.