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Residency Requirements For Firefighters Essay

3117 words - 13 pages

Residency Requirements for Firefighters
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Residency Requirements for Firefighters
The subject regarding residency is as old as the country’s history. Politically, the democrats sided with worker’s unions to oppose the requirements of the residency. Republicans on the other hand supported local control. Interestingly, these conflict axioms with the standard republican principle of more rights of individuals and less government intrusion have impacted negatively on requirements of residency. The issue of residency requirement is a complex issue that has been a subject of many court battles. The research paper will aim at using the literature ...view middle of the document...

C. city Council. Congress argued that the number of city workers with residency exceptions and the inability to hire qualified employees was the reason for their actions. The most convincing argument was from employees who had a starting salary of approximately $ 20,000 to live in a place where a single family had an average expense of more than $ 170,000 (Olivas, 1988).
The legislators of New Jersey banned the requirements of local residency in 1972 (Goldstein, 1972). In 1974, voters in California passed an initiative that restricted local residency requirements. Lawmakers in Maryland passed a legislation overruling the executive order by Mayor Schmoke of Baltimore allowing residency requirements for all the employees in the city (Cipollone, 1998). Even though the requirements apply to CEOs and most departmental heads, other states are currently putting measures on how to ban residency requirements. Such states include; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Ohio and Michigan.
The laws of the residency are commonly the remnants of strong mayoral kind of governments, political machinations that have been prevalent during the Frost Belt. In the wake of the Great Depression, most political campaigns were based on creating jobs for city residents. The cities included Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Memphis and Chicago. The cities tried to enforce the residency requirements. In the early 80s, almost two-thirds of the cities had some sort of residency restrictions some of which were as a result of the spoils of system mold (Murphy & Worall, 1999).
In the year 1997, the international Personnel Management Association carried out a survey of 428 jurisdictions in the United States. It found that 24% had residency requirements (Murphy & Worall, 1999). Some of the reasons that made the management insist on having the employees reside on the community where they are employed are as follows:
* Lower the rate of employee absenteeism.
* Reduce employees’ energy while going to work.
* Police neighbors and firefighters create a feeling of security among their residence.
* Residency ensures goodwill between employee and taxpayer.
* They ensure urgent response to emergencies in case of a fire break out.
There have been many court battles to residency issue. Some of these cases have even led to Supreme courts rulings. In 1976, March 22, Philadelphia vs. McCarthy service commission, the court ruled with three judges dissenting, that even though McCarthy had the right to live wherever she liked, he did not possess any public employment right (Hager, 1980).
The Supreme Court in Missouri upheld a state law that allowed veteran St. Louis firefighter to reside outside the limits of the city. St. Louis requires all municipal employees to reside in the city. However, in 2010, the Missouri law courts exempted firefighters who had seven years’ experience from the residency requirements if the local school...

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