Fitchburg Councilor Thomas Conry files petition to require depa...

Councilor-at-large Thomas Conry thinks city department heads should live in Fitchburg, prompting him to file a petition last week that calls for the creation of an ordinance that would mandate residency. Full Story
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Shaking My Head

Boston, MA

#1 Dec 29, 2009
"Ravenelle, a Sudbury resident, said where a department head lives should not matter, as long as he or she does the job effectively."

How can a Sudbury resident ever know what it's like to be a resident of Fitchburg?
Joe

Clinton, MA

#2 Dec 29, 2009
I think that it is time to have the department heads live in the city. I can understand the positive reasons.
J_in_Ward_1

Framingham, MA

#3 Dec 29, 2009
It should be no problem whatsoever for department heads to move to the city. Fitchburg is one of the most affordable areas in the state and has many good neighborhoods to choose from.
Jim

Fitchburg, MA

#4 Dec 29, 2009
I don't see how they can make a new ordinance requiring residency, when they do not enforce the residency ordinance for employees of certain departments now.

Selective enforcement of ordinances is a double standard, the city council cannot and should not be able to have it both ways
all should live here

Westford, MA

#5 Dec 29, 2009
When DeMoura was interviewed he said he would definitely be moving to Fitchburg. That never happened. I don't think he should be grandfathered in.
Fitchburg

Fitchburg, MA

#6 Dec 29, 2009
Great....now we will really be stuck with some of the wonderful people who run this city.
Blueboy

Newton Upper Falls, MA

#7 Dec 29, 2009
It's about time! Finally Conry has got something right.If a department head does not want to live in Fitchburg,then don't apply for the job..MAKE IT A LAW NOW.
well except

Wethersfield, CT

#8 Dec 29, 2009
If a city councilor thinks something is a good idea, then he/she should petition for it.

If on the other hand that city councilor brings a petition solely because he knows the mayor is against it, then the guy is just being a d.i.c.k. and not serving his constitutents, which in Conry's case, is the whole city.

Tom, again, we're very very very sorry an Irish guy didn't get elected. Now move on.
Smith

Fitchburg, MA

#9 Dec 29, 2009
"I prefer my friends over qualified applicants," said Captain Obvious.
City guy

AOL

#10 Dec 29, 2009
This I'm sure will go over like a lead balloon, spend your time on something that matters Tom.

How about lending a hand in the ongoing cleaning of the Police department?
The burg

Belmont, MA

#11 Dec 29, 2009
Shaking My Head wrote:
"Ravenelle, a Sudbury resident, said where a department head lives should not matter, as long as he or she does the job effectively."
How can a Sudbury resident ever know what it's like to be a resident of Fitchburg?
Sudbury to Fitchburg? That is like going from Hollywood to skid row! I like the idea as it will give them direct perspective on how the city lives! I say pass this as law! Is he licensed to carry a firearm?
The burg

Belmont, MA

#12 Dec 29, 2009
All city workers should need to live in the city! Boston has done this for years! I say all city workers;including the patrol officers!
Really Fitchburg

Quincy, MA

#13 Dec 29, 2009
J_in_Ward_1 wrote:
It should be no problem whatsoever for department heads to move to the city. Fitchburg is one of the most affordable areas in the state and has many good neighborhoods to choose from.
Here are some possible reasons why dept heads and other employees don't move to the city they work in.

Spouse works and doesn't want to leave job that pays well.

Children in school.

Elderly parents they want to be close to.

Property value is low enough to make selling current home difficult at best.

Not living in city means not involved in local politics.

I could go on but I hope you get the picture. The price of homes in Fitchburg doesn't even enter the equation.
Angry Resident

Methuen, MA

#14 Dec 29, 2009
The burg wrote:
<quoted text>
Sudbury to Fitchburg? That is like going from Hollywood to skid row! I like the idea as it will give them direct perspective on how the city lives! I say pass this as law! Is he licensed to carry a firearm?
If he doesn't have a LTC now he won't get one from our present chief. He only allows Class B licenses.
J_in_Ward_1

Framingham, MA

#15 Dec 29, 2009
It works other places. For instance, if you want to teach in the Washington, D.C. schools you have to live in the District of Columbia, no commuting in from Maryland or Virginia.
Gang haven

AOL

#16 Dec 29, 2009
Angry Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
If he doesn't have a LTC now he won't get one from our present chief. He only allows Class B licenses.
Not true, the FPD issues Class A's to those qualified,and always has.
JN Fitchburg

Marblehead, MA

#17 Dec 29, 2009
Teaching jobs have required that I lived in the district in which I was applying to teach. I knew that going in. I think this is a good idea. People should live in the municipality that's paying their salary. However, I don't think it's fair to require those already hired to move now. Living in Fitchburg wasn't a requirement of their employment when they were hired and they do have lives and families elsewhere. For the future? Go for it!

Since: Jul 08

Fitchburg, MA

#18 Dec 29, 2009
I can argue either side of this quite effectively - which means there is no absolute truth going either way.

I do believe safety positions may be better served by those living here, but that is more for the lower ranks than the supervisors. However, limiting choices to only residents or would be residents does restrict the talent pool or worse, strenthens the "good ole boy" network. With the past record in Fitchburg - the need for fresh blood is very high!

Love the quote using DC Teachers as an example - who has the worst public school system in the country? Oops Detroit now has that honor but guess who they just passed? Sorry, do not want to use DC as a model for anything at this point except for what not to do.

When comparing travel time/distance for the requirment to DC or Boston - Those are big cities - we are not. Sudbury to Fitchburg - relatively short commute compared to traveling around Boston or DC. So unless you are talking about changing the contracts to cover 10 years or more - why make someone move?

I have seen this requirement in many places - and it is not that hard to come up with a "work-a-round". Cops renting apartments with a cot which is used only for sleeping between double backs or something on the side. The net effect often is either a cheater or taking the 3rd best choice that owes somebody.

Bottom line - it would be nice that they live in the community. The supporting arguments are valid points. However, forcing it has more potential for negative affects than the potential benefits.

If two people are equal - and the only difference is location of there residence - I believe the elected officials are smart enough to figure out that appointing the local is the right political move. Thats is more potential votes for them.
what a

Bronx, NY

#19 Dec 29, 2009
actually if they implicated domicile (residency) for 1 year with all the illegals to get on any assistance; we would see a drastic change in our taxes that support the welfare of these people and also i believe the crime rate would fall too. Other states have no assistance and some require this one year domicile......so much for the bleeding hearts of this state, we need someone to mandate this law/requirement.
Resident Too

Boston, MA

#20 Dec 29, 2009
This has come up repeatedly over the years. Like so many other things, it gets discussed to death, then nothing changes. It's like not being able to take city cars home. Look at how many other cities have instituted both of these practices, yet Fitchburg will always find a reason to not do those things, claiming past practice, hardship, not being able to attract quality people, etc. etc. In Fitchburg, there is always a reason to keep things the way they are rather than change.

Just do it! It can work IF you let it work.

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