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September 26, 2018

Oswego Council Repeals Residency Law


OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council approved Local Law No. 1 of the Year 2016 – a local law repealing Section C2-01 of the Charter of the City of Oswego, with respect to city officers and employees.

Tom Ciappa was the only speaker at the public hearing regard residency of city workers. The taxpayers are investing in these (employees) and should get something from them, he said.

Tom Ciappa was the only speaker at the public hearing regard residency of city workers. The taxpayers are investing in these (employees) and should get something from them, he said.

City employees will no longer be bound to live within the city as a condition of their employment.

The vote was 6-1 with Council President Shawn Walker casting the lone nay vote.

Walker had crusaded for years to get the residency clause included as an employment requirement.

Following the meeting he expressed disappointment at the clause being repealed.

“I still believe that if you work for the city, you should live in the city,” he said. City taxpayers are paying your salary.”

However, if he were in the mayor’s position he might see things differently, he acquiesced.

Monday night, Mayor William Barlow reiterated that the residency clause had the potential to hamstring the city in the hiring process.

He said he doesn’t want to settle for second best, or possibly the third best, candidate because of where a potential employee sleeps at night.

“I’ve found that we are somewhat hindered by this policy. The city should be looking to hire the best, the sharpest and most talented employees it can no matter where they live,” he said.

To not do that would be a disservice to the city and taxpayers, he added.

City resident Tom Ciappa, the lone speaker at the public hearing, sided with Walker.

“You’re trying to build a community; trying to build the fabric of the community. Having employees living in the community would make a big difference,” he said.

The taxpayers are investing in these (employees) and should get something from them, he added.

If they live elsewhere, Oswego loses tax dollars on real estate and other things, he said.

“I want someone who’s going to take the job that’s also going to invest in this community,” he told the councilors. “I think you should consider that in every move that you make.”

As mayor, Barlow said he encourages people to live in the city.

7 Responses “Oswego Council Repeals Residency Law”

  1. blindeye
    February 9, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Want people to live in the city of Oswego, then lower some of the taxes. I am looking to buy, but will not within the city limits because of the tax situation.

  2. Stella
    February 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Settling for 2nd or 3rd best?
    I guess I see the Mayor’s point. I commute to Syracuse to work. I have a first rate job, make good money and have exceptional benefits.
    I also shop in Syracuse as it is nice to have more than a handful of stores to choose from.
    Having said that, I too will not settle for 2nd or 3rd best.

  3. February 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Non-residency CAN be an issue.IF you live in the CITY it matters to you how much your taxes are, water/sewer bills are, compared to if you live somewhere else…and as the previous comment stated, where you spend your money. IF YOU LIVE locally, you will almost certainly SHOP locally, LOWERING property taxes through your own input with sales tax.

    And, we do have more than a handful of shops to choose from…at my retail establishment I had a customer complain he had to drive to the mall to find a gift for his teen’s birthday. After I directed him to Midnight Sun, and Harbor Town…he found “better’ gifts for his teen than he’d thought he would. And, he didn’t drive, and his money was still working for him.

    With the new water sewer bills, it would be VERY NICE to have some other resource for city bills than JUST property taxes that now among the higher paid salaries in the city do not contribute to help defray.

    Don’t most of us CARE about our own BACK YARDS? This isn’t possible if the employee lives out of the city/even county! :0)
    Just saying…

    Two cents.

  4. Robert
    February 9, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Someone who gets lucky enough to work on the city(taxpayer’s) payroll would have to make well over $100K to live within the confines of this city; I know because I make almost $80K & I have to move out of here because I can’t afford to eat anymore!

  5. Sam
    February 9, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Stella do you work for the city of Syracuse. I didn’t think so they have to live I there city

  6. Outside looking in
    February 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    If this was the problem settling for second best. I would guess all the department heads that the Mayor has hired are not even 4th or 5th best. Should hire from within the department first to find the best person for the job before looking outside to find the so called best for the job. Being the ones that got appointed at the first of the year should be fired from those jobs being they did not live within the city limits as required at the time. But we all know the mayor over looked that little item. Keep up all the so called good work

  7. Herbv
    February 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Hey Robert if you make 80k and can’t afford to eat, taxes are the least of your problems.

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