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  • Ohio Supreme Court ruling on residency requirements

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content...e.html?sid=101

    Supreme Court: Cities can't dictate where employees live
    Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:41 AM
    Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:11 PM
    By James Nash and Elizabeth Gibson
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    * Supreme Court decision (pdf)

    Ohio cities have no right to tell their employees where they may or may not live, the state Supreme Court ruled today.

    In a 5-2 decision, the court upheld a 2006 state law that wiped out dozens of local residency restrictions, including a small number in central Ohio.

    More than 130 municipalities - including Cleveland, Dayton, Youngstown, Toledo, Akron and Lima - had ordinances requiring city employees to live in or near the municipal boundaries. A few of the ordinances applied to entire city work forces, but most covered a few high-ranking administrators and the public-safety forces.

    State law requires municipal employees to live only in the same county or one adjacent to where they work.

    Lawmakers had the right to strike down the local residency restrictions because the rules deal with the "comfort, health, safety and general welfare" of municipal employees, rather than the provincial concerns of individual cities, the court majority said.

    "By allowing city employees more freedom of choice of residency, (the 2006 law) provides for the employees' comfort and general welfare," Justice Paul E. Pfeifer wrote for the court.

    The ruling lifts a cloud over Reynoldsburg's safety-service director, Pam Boratyn, who lives in Delaware County's Genoa Township. Reynoldsburg had required its parks and safety-service directors to live in the city. The parks chief, Jason Shamblin, moved to Reynoldsburg after he was named to the position.

    Boratyn was appointed to her job in March 2008 and resigned in August, upon which she was named acting director to circumvent the residency requirement while the Supreme Court case was pending. Her duties and salary did not change.

    The ruling means Boratyn can return to permanent status without moving.

    Mayor Brad McCloud said the decision reflects the reality of the time.

    "To restrict your candidate pool to those who are willing to sell their house in a bad economy and move isn't practical," he said. "It's a dated provision. I don't see a downside (to the ruling). In this day and age, when someone can sit on a small wireless device and surf the Internet and telecommute, it's a different age than when our charter was adopted."

    The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio praised the decision, calling residency requirements "totally antiquated."

    However, some city officials were less pleased with the ruling. They said it detracts from their home-rule powers and could lead to an exodus of middle-class city employees.

    "The court has obliterated home rule as we know it and as it was contemplated in the Ohio Constitution," Cleveland Councilman Kevin J. Kelley said in a statement. "This decision has given the legislature more authority than exists in the Ohio Constitution. In doing so, the court has diminished the ability of local elected officials to govern."

    Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Judith Lanzinger cited local home rule in their dissenting opinions.

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    [email protected]

  • #2
    I am pleased. For those worried about a rush to leave certain areas: if those areas were better than those being sought by the middle class exodus there wouldn't be a problem.

    However, I understand the reason for the rule in some cases when police officer are concerned. If there were some major catastrophe how close would you want them to be? If there were an uprising at the jail you'd want them there quick (if the situation were horrible enough that you were calling people at home).

    I think flexibility (as this issue is concerned) leads to longevity.
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    • #3
      I was initially thrilled when I heard that news, then I realized I had forgot which departments I had discounted due to residency requirements.. lol..
      Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AuxiTrooper View Post
        However, I understand the reason for the rule in some cases when police officer are concerned. If there were some major catastrophe how close would you want them to be? If there were an uprising at the jail you'd want them there quick (if the situation were horrible enough that you were calling people at home).

        I think flexibility (as this issue is concerned) leads to longevity.
        That issue can easily be resolved by requiring a certain response time as a stipulation of employment. My agency requires a 1 hour response time in cases of emergency, but has no residency requirement.
        What is Perseverance?
        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


        BOP - BPA - ICE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
          That issue can easily be resolved by requiring a certain response time as a stipulation of employment. My agency requires a 1 hour response time in cases of emergency, but has no residency requirement.
          A wise man could easily challenge that as a backdoor residency requirement.
          Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

          Comment


          • #6
            But if you're abiding by the state law of residing in the same or an adjacent county how could it be over one hour? Just don't hit the snooze bar after you get the call :-)
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            • #7
              Originally posted by FiremanMike View Post
              A wise man could easily challenge that as a backdoor residency requirement.
              No, actually it is not. You can live in any jurisdiction as long as you can make it to work in one hour from the time you were called.

              If you own a private jet and are able to take off from Texas and land here in Kansas and report to work in that one hour time frame, that is acceptable. We have some people driving from 40-60 miles daily, from 2 different states and a dozen counties covering thousands of square miles.
              What is Perseverance?
              -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
              -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
              -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


              BOP - BPA - ICE

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                No, actually it is not. You can live in any jurisdiction as long as you can make it to work in one hour from the time you were called.

                If you own a private jet and are able to take off from Texas and land here in Kansas and report to work in that one hour time frame, that is acceptable. We have some people driving from 40-60 miles daily, from 2 different states and a dozen counties covering thousands of square miles.
                Oh come on, a bit of a stretch don't you think?

                Rule under old system
                - Employee must live within a 60 mile radius of the police station

                Rule under new system
                - Employee must live within 60 minutes of the police station

                It's the same thing and you know it. I am against residency requirements, because it basically implies "we know we don't have the staffing to handle things, and we refuse to set up mutual aid contracts to help us during a major event, so we're going to depend on our off duty employees to come in from home and bail us out".
                Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FiremanMike View Post
                  Oh come on, a bit of a stretch don't you think?

                  Rule under old system
                  - Employee must live within a 60 mile radius of the police station

                  Rule under new system
                  - Employee must live within 60 minutes of the police station

                  It's the same thing and you know it. I am against residency requirements, because it basically implies "we know we don't have the staffing to handle things, and we refuse to set up mutual aid contracts to help us during a major event, so we're going to depend on our off duty employees to come in from home and bail us out".
                  No, the old rule was that the officer must live within the city/county limits, or within the jurisdiction. That is what you are misunderstanding. It is not the same thing.

                  For example if you were a cop in Cleveland, you had to live inside the city of Cleveland. Instead of imposing rules such as that, just giving an officer a certain amount of time that they need to be able to report for duty in case of an emergency would allow the officer to live anywhere they choose.
                  Last edited by TheKansan; 06-13-2009, 04:45 PM.
                  What is Perseverance?
                  -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                  -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                  -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                  BOP - BPA - ICE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Residency requirements varied by departments. A public safety department I looked into required 45 mile radius from the station, Columbus Police and Columbus Fire required you lived in Franklin County, or any county that touched Franklin County. Norwich Township Fire required 30 miles (radius), Springfield requires you live in Clark County, Dayton requires you live within the City limits... It was completely up to the department to determine what the requirements would be.
                    Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Personally the whole city limits thing is the worst in my opinion. Especially in a city with a very small land area, and overall crappy schools/high crime. I mean give us a break. The city of St. Louis had a huge issue with this problem. A lot of quality recruits would pass on working there because they did not want to live in the city limits.
                      What is Perseverance?
                      -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                      -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                      -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                      BOP - BPA - ICE

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think the same could be said about Dayton OH, and Toledo OH.
                        Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

                        Comment

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