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Residency ruling angers Williams

Published: Thu, September 17, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By David Skolnick

YOUNGSTOWN — Mayor Jay Williams says he’s “furious” city council had to approve legislation requiring all city employees to live in Mahoning County or an adjacent Ohio county.

Williams isn’t angry at council. In fact, he sponsored the legislation.

He remains upset that the state Legislature passed a law in 2006 that overturned laws in various cities, including Youngstown, requiring city employees to live in the municipality in which they work, and that the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the state law this past June.

The law still allows cities to require their workers to live in the home county or one adjacent to it. But each city’s council has to pass an ordinance with the county restriction for it to take effect.

That’s what council did Wednesday.

Williams and city labor-union officials say they know of no city worker who lives outside Mahoning County or an Ohio county adjacent to it.

“Maybe we should have done nothing so some employees would have taken it too far” and moved even farther away from Youngstown than Mahoning or an adjacent Ohio county, Williams said. “It would have shown how bad this decision is.”

But the city needs to be practical about the state law guidelines, so council passed the bill, Williams said.

Williams calls the state policy “a slap in the face to self-governance.”

The legislation would have been in front of council sooner if a regular meeting were held this summer, said city Law Director Iris Torres Guglucello. Council met only twice since the Supreme Court decision: once less than two weeks after the court decision and a special meeting last month.

Williams said he knows of no city employee living in Youngstown who’s moved elsewhere since the court ruling. But that’s not by choice, he said.

“I’ve seen ‘for-sale’ signs in employees’ yards,” Williams said. “No one in this area is able to sell their house at this time. ”

Cicero Davis, president of a labor union that represents about 90 city workers, said he and his union membership have no objection to council’s vote.

David Cook, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 312, which represents Youngstown’s firefighters, also has no objection to the restriction.

See also:City borrows again to cover center


1debraweaver(30 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Excuse me but the fact of the matter is that the responsibility for making those things happen (plowing the roads , safety etc) is with the same folks that will now be able to live outside the city. If the job isn't being done by the city workers now what makes you think the job will be done better once they move out of the city limits. Your logic is flawed.

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2dd933(288 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I just have two quick comments;
1. Poor schools and high crime rates are caused by concentrated poverty - the city was trying to combat concentrated poverty by mandating residency.
2. Now that the state legislature and the state supreme court have denied the cities "home rule" can annexation be far behind?

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3Ralphie(32 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The Mayor is "furious" that the City has to abide by state law!?! That a United States Citizen has a right to live whereever they please. Why doesn't the mayor get "furious" about the crime rate in Youngstown? Why doesn't the Mayor get "Furious" about the lack of tax base in the city? How bout getting "furious" about the fact that no one wants to send their children to the worst school system in the entire state of Ohio? (as reported in the Vindicator)
If a city employee moves out of Youngstown they still pay income tax. Their not gonna leave until someone buys their home. That means the people that buy their home will also pay income tax. This will actually increase the tax base of Youngstown. Let's look at the positive!

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4JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

LOL nailed it.

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5boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Jay Williams is a FRAUD!!!!!!!!! Tell him to get behind drug and alcohol testing for those who receive state and federal handouts and MAYBE something will change in his poverty stricken city. Take free money away from the junkies and dealers and watch them leave not just the city, but the state of Ohio. Peanuthead needs to get with the program and get on the right side of real issues that are at the core of his city's problems. ITS TIME FOR AMERICA TO WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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6ytownLADY79(26 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

So Youngstown is a decent enough place for people to work, but not for them to live? If you hate Youngstown so bad, don't collect a paycheck from the city! Its that simple! I don't agree with Jay Williams on much, but with this issue he is right on!

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