Councillors Reject Residency Ordinance Again

By Seth Daniel

Councillor Giovanni Recupero will likely never give up in trying to bring a residency ordinance to the City for public safety officials, and on Monday night he gave it another try.

Recupero put in an order that called for all public safety officers, serving in police and fire, hired after Jan. 1, 2017, be required to live in Chelsea at least seven years after being hired.

“It’s time we made these people who work here also live with us,” he said. “Are we not good enough? If you think that, then vote ‘no.’”

Apparently most did think that, or at least they were opposed to the new ordinance, as it was voted down 4-7.

Those voting in favor were Recupero, Damali Vidot, Luis Tejada and Enio Lopez.

Those voting against were Paul Murphy, Matt Frank, Roy Avellaneda, Leo Robinson, Yamir Rodriguez, Dan Cortell, and Judith Garcia.

Council President Leo Robinson did change his position on the matter.

He said he originally filed the order to establish a residency ordinance in 2005, but not he believes it is not longer necessary.

“As time has gone on and as a person who watches the Civil Service lost for police and fire, the last 15 police officers all lived in Chelsea,” he said. “The five firefighters on the Fire list live in Chelsea…I won’t be voting for this.”

Councillor Murphy said he has voted against the measure six times now.

“I guess I would be one of the knuckleheads you refer to,” said Murphy. “I have voted ‘no’ on this every year. I strongly believe we will be tying the hands of the City Manager…My second point is if we have a lateral transfer that qualifies to come in, are we going to make them move here and uproot their families?”

Councillor Damali Vidot agreed with Recupero.

“I will go with the will of the people and a majority of the people want them to live in the city,” she said. “It boosts morale. If it’s good enough to get paid here, it’s good enough to live here.

Recupero said he plans to bring the measure back in time.

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