EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHUNTINGTON RESIDENCY REPEAL
from Eyewitness News Online
Huntington Residency Repeal Backed By Officials, Two Unions
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Kenney Barnette
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 24, 2012 11:09 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 25, 2012 10:08 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Currently, any city employee hired after October 23, 2009 is required to live within Huntington city limits.
Orgarita Sanders falls in that category. She's worked at City Hall for the past 16 years and lives in the country and believes city workers shouldn't have to live within city limits.
Sanders said, "I can't move to Huntington, I'm eight miles out, I can't just pick up after 38 years and move out."
The residency law could be repealed come election day. Director of Finance & Administration Brandi Jacob-Jones says the city is surrounded by bedroom communities and the residency requirement restricts the city's ability to hire the best employees. "The residency requirement in theory, we understand the principals behind it. In reality and in our environment and our current financial condition, where we live, it's not practical for us to attract the vest candidates.
Former councilman and secretary to the City's Charter Board, Tom McCallister, doesn't believe the law should be repealed. "It makes sense because if you have a policeman that has to travel 30 minutes to get to the scene or a fire fighter to drive, the house is burned down or criminals are gone. That's the basic reason we wanted them to live here."
Voters will have the chance to vote or against the repeal November 6th.
A proposal to repeal the residency requirement for city employees is being backed by Huntington officials and two unions, The Associated Press reported.
City employees who were hired after Oct. 23, 2009, are required to live in Huntington. A previous lawsuit settlement exempted workers hired before 2009 from the requirement.
Huntington Administration and Finance Director Brandi Jacobs-Jones said the requirement restricts the city's ability to hire the best employees, The AP reported.
Representatives of the International Association of Firefighters Local 298 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 598 also told the council they support repealing the requirement.
The repeal is on the ballot for the November general election.
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