Residency Requirements

Gotham Gazette has a great review of residency requirements for municipal workers. The city recently relaxed their regulations and have allowed members of a major clerical union the right to move out of the city and still keep their jobs. Of course, the reasons are different for NYC compared to Syracuse. In NYC the workers in question wanted out because it’s increasingly difficult to find affordable housing in the city. In Syracuse, white, middle class employees don’t want to send their kids to city schools.

The courts have held up residency requirements for municipal workers, despite the hodgepodge of exemptions for police, firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers. Syracuse must work to end those state exemptions and bring those jobs (and homeowners/tax revenues) back to the city. As the former mayor of Madison, Wisconsin observed: “People have a constitutional right to live anywhere they want. They do not have a constitutional right to public employment.”


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