Common Council President David Maack, who has been serving as acting mayor, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Becker should step down."I think it would be in the best interest of the city and himself to resign his position," Maack said.Prosecutors charged Racine Mayor Gary Becker with child-sex felonies Thursday and said he had gone to a mall to meet a 14-year-old girl he thought he had met during an online chat.A state agent had posed as the girl, and the 51-year-old mayor was arrested Tuesday at the mall in suburban Milwaukee.Exemptions to the ordinance include if the offender already lives in the city, if the offender is a minor, or if the residence belongs to the offender's parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse or child, as long as the person "established the residence at least five years before the designated offender established residence at that location."Additional regulations contained in the ordinance include penalties for property owners knowingly renting to unauthorized offenders, and penalties for any offender caught loitering within 500 feet of schools, parks and other places kids congregate. An appeal process is included in the ordinance allowing offenders to make a case for special placement within the city.Appeals must go before the city's Public Safety Committee, chief of police and City Council.Chris Able, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, which first discussed the ordinance, said he's happy with the final result."I think this is an important step forward for better safety for everybody," Able said. Jim Brey said everyone needs to remain vigilant in keeping the city safe."Don't be afraid to call the police department if you have concerns," Brey said."They will gladly respond and be part of the solution."The City of Two Rivers also approved a similar ordinance.
According to the complaint, State Fair police were alerted to the incident on Aug.District Attorney Michael Nieskes said during a news conference after a court hearing Thursday that investigators also found records of 1,800 sexually explicit chats on Becker's computer.The charges include attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16, possession of child pornography, child enticement, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, attempt to expose a child to harmful material and misconduct in office.The need for the ordinance arose after convicted sex offender Mark R.Rickert, who is not from Manitowoc, was placed within the city."He has some very serious charges he needs to devote his time and energy to, and the city of Racine doesn't need this cloud hanging over its head." He can be removed from office The Common Council can remove Becker from office before he is convicted with votes from 12 of the city's 15 aldermen, city attorney Rob Weber said.