Mayors Protest Possible End To Residency Requirements


Mayors from throughout Wisconsin are protesting a plan in Governor Scott Walker’s budget that would end municipal employee residency requirements.

The provision in Governor Walker’s budget is generally thought to be aimed at the city of Milwaukee, where the police and firefighter unions who endorsed the governor have long sought an end to their residency rule. But it would apply statewide, even to a city like Two Rivers – population 12,000. City Manager Greg Buckley says the Two Rivers workforce is small, and if even a few employees move outside of town, services will suffer.

“We’re not just talking about cops and firefighters: We’re talking about many, indeed most of our municipal employees, who are our first responders when the crap hits the fan, or when it starts backing up in your basement.”

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Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) says Republicans still want to end residency requirements:

“We’re looking at giving the local municipality the ability to say that if you’re going to move outside the city or the municipality there would be some type of financial giveback.”

That giveback could be in the form of some type of paycut. Asked of Nygren’s proposal, the League of Municipalities said it remains opposed to any legislative interference with local decisions on residency.