A motion will likely go before the City Council on Dec. 2 calling for newly hired public safety and 9-1-1 personnel to be required to live in Chelsea for a minimum of five years.
Councillor Giovanni Recupero filed the order this week and said it is a continuation of a battle he tried to fight earlier this year and last year, but met stiff opposition from veteran police and firefighters who would have had to relocate back to Chelsea after many years of living outside the City.
“That was the old plan and now I have a new plan to get Chelsea people working for Chelsea,” Recupero said on Tuesday. “No one should be mad because we’re only talking about new and recent hires.”
The order requires all new hires of police, fire and 9-1-1 from 2012 on to live in the City for a minimum of five years in order to work for the City of Chelsea. It states specifically, he said, that it excludes all safety personnel previously hired and currently working in the City.
Recupero said he is interested in creating more jobs for young adults in the City, particularly because of the high unemployment rate for young people right now.
However, he said he has faced some opposition due to the fact that some believe there aren’t enough qualified applicants, and limiting hiring to Chelsea residents would shrink the pool of qualified people.
“I’m tired of people saying there are no qualified applicants who live in Chelsea and would work in these jobs,” he said. “I believe there are. Some Councillors are saying there are none. I believe there are and I have faith that there are plenty of qualified people in Chelsea. Furthermore, why do these councillors want to represent people who they think are unqualified to work for the City?”
Recupero said he expects to get the backing of a handful of councillors, but that he’s putting out the order to see what others might do.
“If I’m good enough to live in Chelsea with my family, then so are the people we hire to work in public safety for the City and who take the City’s money,” he concluded.