OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council will hold a public hearing tonight (Feb. 8) regarding proposed Local Law No. 1 of the Year – a local law repealing Section C2-01 of the Charter of the city of Oswego with respect to city officers and employees.
It will be held at 7:10 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
In January, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli proposed modification to the charter with respect to city officers and employees and the residency requirements for such officers and employees.
Early in 2015, Council President Shawn Walker lead the charge to change the charter requiring city employees to live within the city.
“It’s difficult, going through the interview process, in clear conscious to support this,” Mayor William Barlow said at January’s committee meeting. “Because, if I have three candidates who I have to interview, I don’t understand why I have to settle for second best because of where somebody sleeps at night. The city should be looking to hire the best, the sharpest and most talented employees it can no matter where they live.”
This law (as it is on the books now) will sooner or later prevent the mayor from doing that, he added.
The modification would add a Section I, which authorizes the mayor to waive the residency requirements for an officer or employee when the strict adherence to the residency requirements will result in the loss of an officer or employee or the inability to fill a position of employment by the most qualified candidate regardless of residency or domicile.
As a matter of principle, “if you work here, you should live here and pay taxes here,” Councilor John Gosek said. But, at the same time, he said he can see how the law currently on the books might hamstring the mayor in the hiring process.
He moved to set the public hearing. The proposal was sent to the full council where it also passed.