The city is selectively enforcing its residency requirement, some union members contend.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
and PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say they'll be watching to make sure the city requires two building department employees to follow a residency requirement.
Union officials say they want to make sure that building department officials Wayne DaBelko, who lives in Fowler, and Chris Taneyhill, who lives in Niles, are also made to move to the city.
DaBelko was hired in April 2001 and Taneyhill was hired in September 2001.
"Wayne had until April 3 and Chris has until September," said Mayor Hank Angelo. "I don't anticipate having any problems with these two."
Union officials say they don't believe the administration is pressuring the two building officials the same way they would if the two were union members.
Union's contention: Lee DeJacimo, AFSCME president, Local 74, said the city should drop the residency requirement or make sure that it applies to all city employees.
"The union has been pursuing the administration's use of selective enforcement in regard to residency," DeJacimo said. "We just hope all of our members are treated fairly."
Jerry Stantial has been a laborer at the city's Water Pollution Control Center for about 31/2 years.
He said he was fired in October 1999 after the city disputed his residency.
Stantial was living in an apartment in Niles when he was hired and says he knew he had one year to move. Three days before the year was up, he rented a place on Parkman Road in the city.
Even though he showed proof, he says, the city didn't believe him.
He admits he was in-between both apartments for awhile because he needed to give a 30-day notice to his landlord in Niles in order to get his security deposit back.
Stantial said he had no intention to maintain both places.
Got job back: The matter went to arbitration and Stantial got his job back with seniority rights and three months' back pay, vacation and sick time. He was off work a year and seven months.
Danny Aulizia, AFSCME vice president and an operator at the city's water filtration plant, said he was hired about 10 years ago knowing he would have to move from Howland to Warren. He was hired shortly after the residency law went into effect and says the city was very persistent, asking for proof of his move, including contracts and copies of his land purchase agreement.
"They watched me like a hawk," he said, complaining it's not fair because there are employees who are alleged to have falsified the proof needed to satisfy the city's requirement.
The residency requirement applied only to those hired after the date it was passed. Everyone else was grandfathered in.
Aulizia said the way it's written allows someone who started with the city before the law was passed to move out, even now. He wants to see more people move into Warren and stimulate the local economy but said he wishes the mandate was more uniformly applied.
Stantial wants to know why the city singled him out.
Can't see need: He says a residency requirement for police officers and firefighters might be necessary in the case of emergencies, but does not see why the city needs to regulate where other employees live.
Stantial said that where he lives now is farther from work than his old apartment in Niles was.
"If a law is in effect it's for everyone, not just a few people."
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com