Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Manitowoc City Council Approves, Mayor Vetoes Residency Requirement for Department Heads

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Link to October 28 Herald-Times-Reporter editorial, "Require no residency".

Excerpt: While municipalities and other government entities should retain the option of imposing residency requirements, it is not the right move in this particular situation.

Five of the 14 current department leaders live outside the city. We have not learned of a single instance where residency status has created a problem or conflict.

Alderman Eric Sitkiewitz says living in the city will lead to greater community involvement. Possibly, but we'd rather see excellence on the job trump a willingness to join social clubs or other organizations. Those who truly desire civic involvement will find an avenue, regardless of where they reside.

Advocates of the residency requirement also argue that employees should pay taxes to the communities in which they work. Perhaps, but skilled department heads can help to generate tax revenue through creativity on the job. Again, that requires an unlimited pool of the best job candidates.

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