Marty Walsh has a hiring problem, and it has turned out to be the city limits.
Specifically, some of the people the new mayor has hired for key jobs, or would dearly love to hire, don’t live in the city and don’t necessarily want to.
So Walsh has taken the politically risky step of begging the City Council to pass an ordinance that would allow him to bypass the city’s residency requirement for a limited number of positions. He says he would like to waive residency in “three or four cases, if that” — though I’m pretty sure the final number will be higher, presuming the council goes along with his change.
Residency has been a problem from the time it went into effect in 1977. None of the mayors who have governed under it was really committed to it, and many of the employees who fell under it didn’t care for it, either.
Its enforcement has been a game of cat-and-mouse. Some employees found creative ways around it. Powerful unions eventually bargained partial exemptions. A few people were fired for violating it.
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