Sunday, October 21, 2007

City living, part 2

I've seen one or two comments on local blogs (here and here) claiming that Mark DeSantis is going to lose votes by promising to end the residency requirement for city employees should he become mayor.

I can see the logic. A city resident may reason that if his or her taxes are going toward paying an employee's salary, then that employee should be paying taxes to support the city as well, and that an employee who lives here has more motivation to work hard. GM shareholders don't want to visit a Chevy plant and see a bunch of Fords in the parking lot.

DeSantis also gave the mayor the opportunity to cast himself as an advocate for taxpayers against the demands of public employee unions, who many people believe have helped to push the city to the brink of bankruptcy.

So, yes, some people may vote against DeSantis for wanting to lift the residency requirement. The arguments against the requirement -- which I also oppose -- are abstract: that you can draw from a deeper pool of talent without such a restriction, and that you shouldn't have to force people to live in your city. (I'd also argue that conscientious employees will work hard regardless of whether or not they live here. I work at a university, and while I have no college-age children, I think I do a good job nonetheless.)

On the other hand, the arguments in favor of keeping the requirement are concrete: Fewer people will live in the city if the requirement is lifted, potentially raising the cost of living here for the rest of us.

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Blogger EdHeath said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:34 PM

Blogger EdHeath said...

The blog put me wise. The residency requirement is changed by the state legislature. So the issue is a red herring, and something Mark DeSantis should have left alone. The hysterics are making hay (as everyone has seen in the paper) even though it is one of the things the Mayor (whoever it is) can do little about.

6:36 PM

Blogger EdHeath said...

Hmm. Blogger doesn't handle the "A" tag as well as it says it does.

7:05 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Even if it was something the mayor had control over, I can't imagine it's an issue that most people, outside of the employees themselves, have much passion about. I never would have given it a thought if it hadn't come out in the endorsement story.

9:12 PM


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