Says It Will Enforce Moving To City Within 6 Months Of Hiring
By JENNA CARLESSO
July 12, 2011
HARTFORD —— A new ordinance gives the city council more voice in requiring department heads and other administrators to move to Hartford within six months of being hired.
Council President rJo Winch in February proposed an ordinance to tighten existing residency requirements to ensure that newly hired department heads move to the city within 60 days. But the measure didn't get sufficient support, so a different version was passed by the council Monday.
Under the new ordinance, department heads still have six months to relocate to Hartford. But the measure now allows the council to make a recommendation to Mayor Pedro Segarra that he fire any employees who haven't moved to the city. In the past, Winch said, the six-month rule had not been enforced.
The ordinance applies to non-union, unclassified employees appointed by the mayor or the city council.
"The major change is that it affords the council an opportunity to put in a resolution asking the mayor to terminate someone's employment if they don't comply," Winch said.
The ordinance defines residency as having a local address, being registered to vote in the city and having all vehicles registered in the city.
Winch said the she introduced the measure to generate more tax revenue.
"We spend more than $10 million of the city's budget to employ people making six-figure salaries when the majority of our residents who are unemployed or underemployed are paying their salaries," Winch said. "If they're not willing to live here, they shouldn't get appointed."
Winch's original proposal, which would have required new department heads to move to Hartford within 60 days of being hired, hit a snag when some council members said it was an unrealistic expectation.
"I don't think we can expect people to deal with all the real-world issues they have to deal with in 60 days," Councilman Luis Cotto said. "Chances are they have a house, and we would be telling people to sell their house and buy a house in Hartford within 60 days."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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