Bill to extend residency requirements moves to full council

An ordinance to extend the residency requirements of certain Jefferson City department directors soon will be reviewed by the City Council.

The Council Committee on Administration approved moving the bill forward earlier this week. The proposed ordinance would extend residency requirements to a 15-mile radius around Jefferson City for almost all department heads.

The city administrator, city clerk, fire chief, police chief and director of public works would be the only department heads who need to live within city limits. The city also would not cover moving expenses for any new department heads unless they moved within city limits.

The City Charter only specifies the city clerk needs to live in the city.

City policy is that all city employees are required to live within 25 miles of city limits, but seven out of nine department directors are required to live inside city limits.

The information technology services director and planning and protective services director are not required to live within city limits because the policy was enacted before those positions were created.

The discussion came about because of issues in the city’s searches for a new finance director earlier this year and late last year. In the last national search, city officials said several good candidates were eliminated simply because they lived just outside city limits and were unwilling to move.

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