Council to Tackle Laborer Loitering

Deirdre Newman, North County Times (Escondido, Cal.), June 17

TEMECULA—Concerns about day laborers loitering on Butterfield Stage Road near a school are prompting city leaders to look at ways to limit or prevent the job seekers from using the street to solicit work.

The City Council is set to consider restrictions at its June 28 meeting for the western part of Butterfield Stage Road, south of Rancho California Road, which is in the city’s jurisdiction; the eastern side of the road is under the county’s authority. Council members may also consider an ordinance prohibiting loitering near schools, which would cover the entire city, Councilman Mike Naggar said this week.

The consideration is in response to complaints brought to the council’s attention by a representative of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School, which is just south of Rancho California and within the county area. Holly Wardrop, vice president of the school’s parent-teacher group, said the number of day laborers frequenting the area of Butterfield Stage Road near the school has increased recently to more than 30.

As a result, school officials are concerned about the day laborers’ proximity to the students, who range from preschoolers through eighth-graders, and about the day laborers’ cars that block visibility of traffic for people leaving the school, Wardrop said. Parents, children and a teacher also have said they have seen some of the day laborers urinating publicly near the school, Wardrop added.

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“We all tell our kids, ‘Do not talk to strangers. Do not be around strangers.’ Yet here we have them loitering around our school,” Wardrop said Thursday.

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