JEFFERSON — The Jefferson city council recently voted to implement a curfew for anyone 16 years old or younger from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, during last week’s special city council meeting. The curfew went into effect immediately on Friday.

Jefferson Police Chief Jason Carroll made the recommendation to the council after his office had seen children out “at all hours of the night,” he said.

“We’ve been seeing juveniles out at 1 and 2 a.m.,” Carroll told the Marion County Herald. “There has been an increase in the number of suspicious person reports, another other activity. This will last through the end of the city’s emergency declaration and we’re doing what a number of other cities have done, for example Waskom.”

Violation of the curfew is a class C misdemeanor, violation of city ordinance, and the fine is set by the municipal judge, but are punishable by a fine of up to $500. A parent or guardian is required to appear with the juvenile at court.

“The first offense we’ll issue a warning and direct the youth to go home or take them home,” Carroll said. “Subsequent violations we’ll issue a citation and the parents will have to appear in court.”

According to the incident reports posted on the Jefferson Police Department FaceBook page, officers responded to five burglar alarms and two suspicious persons reports during the past week.

The council also approved a resolution to move the May elections to November and approved a contract with Marion County Clerk Vickie Smith for the county to conduct the election. The council took the advice provided by the Texas Secretary of State’s office to move the elections to ensure a safe election during the COVID–19 situation.

Resolution 04-020, includes the following provisions

“Alderman Wards 1, 2, and 3, and Mayor candidates shall all appear on the November 3, 2020, election. Refiling is not required and a filing period will not be re-opened.”

Ballots by mail requests which have already been made do not have to be re-requested for disabled persons and those over the age of 65 years old.

Ballots by mail requests made due to travel or expected absence must be re-submitted.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Oct. 23. The deadline to register to vote in the November elections is Oct. 5 and early voting will run from Oct. 19-30.

The County is operating “Vote Centers,” meaning, regardless of residence location in the county, voters can vote at any polling location. This practice will extend to the city elections as well.

The cost, so far, for this election is $4,000.

To view the meeting, visit the Marion County Herald’s website at https://marioncoherald.com/