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Residency Requirement Gaining Aldermen Support
Tonight, Springfield leaders are weighing in on whether to listen to the voters--the majority of whom support a residency requirement for new city hires.
The canvassing and information packets pushing for a residency requirement all come to this: the majority of voters penciling in "yes" on a controversial Springfield issue.
"The voters spoke loud and clear for a residency requirement," alderman Joe McMenamin said. "I think the taxpayers care about the tax base. They want to protect it so it doesn't affect the taxes going up."
City council will have the final say on whether new Springfield hires will have to live in city limits.
There are two aldermen who are undecided, waiting for a final breakdown.
Alderman Steve Dove is one of them.
"If my ward is overwhelmingly for it, I'll vote their wishes," Dove said.
"My preliminary assessment is that I'm leaning towards supporting it, because when the numbers are almost 60 percent, I can't ignore that, nor should I," alderman Sam Cahnman said.
Aldermen Frank Lesko said he's "considering the impact on the city and weighing the options."
AFSCME representative Roger Griffith stands opposed.
"First of all, I don't think an employer should be able to tell an employee where to live just because they work there," Griffith said. "I think that the way things are right now it gives the city the opportunity to hire better-qualified employees."
If passed, negotiations would have to take place.
"I don't know what proposals we would make, or what proposals the city would make, but it clearly legally requires bargaining over this matter," Griffith said.