Springfield City Residency

City Employee Residency Ordinance up for Vote – Tuesday June 21, 2016

Dear Friends,

Springfield needs your voice in support of Residency Ordinance 2016-253, which would reinstate Springfield residency as a condition of employment for our City employees. It is a fair Ordinance with a grandfather clause, grace period for new hires, and a waiver for hardship cases.

Four years ago, voters made a strong statement in support of Residency in the Referendum. 59% of voters were in favor, and it passed in 99 of the 104 city precincts.

Now is the time to pass this ordinance with Mayor Langfelder’s strong support.

Residency is crucially important to the future of our city with significant economic impact. By living in the city, employees will circulate their dollars locally, contribute to our tax base, strengthen neighborhoods, and support our local businesses.

As of June 2016, 42%, or 595 of the 1,414 City employees now live outside of the City.  57% of our fire fighters (122 out of 212) and almost 40% of our 245 police officers do not live in Springfield.

The median income for city workers is approximately $73,000 plus benefits. These jobs are highly sought after and exceed the median pay of private sector jobs in Springfield. Multiply that salary by nearly 600 departed city employees and it equals an annual exodus of $44 million in tax dollars to neighboring towns.

Those that owe their livelihood and future pensions to Springfield taxpayers should support our neighborhoods, shop in our stores, and contribute to the tax base.

Please attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 21 at 5:30pm to show support for reinstating Residency.  A strong showing will have an impact on all aldermen.  Please speak in support of Residency as well. The Council meets on the third floor, Municipal West, on Monroe St between 7th and 8th Street.

Alternatively, support Residency by calling or emailing the Council Coordinator and leaving a message for all 10 aldermen.

Council Phone: 789-2151 or email CityAlderman@Springfield.il.us

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
Joe McMenamin
Alderman, Ward 7
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Union contract language includes city residency provision

The State Journal Register
Apr. 30, 2016

There are 14 bargaining units in the city of Springfield that have agreed to language in their contracts that would allow for a residency requirement for future municipal hires. The most recent example is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 193, whose contract is up for a Springfield City Council vote on Tuesday.

Those 14 agreements have been reached since last year’s city elections, when Mayor Jim Langfelder, who while campaigning pushed for the reintroduction of a residency requirement, took office.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin called the collective bargaining agreements a “significant achievement by the administration and a powerful statement of approval from those unions.”

Langfelder pointed out, however, that the two largest unions in the city — those representing police officers and firefighters – are still negotiating contracts.

There isn’t currently a definitive timeframe for introducing a residency requirement ordinance, but the mayor said he anticipates it possibly coming up within the next two months.

The city council in 2000 repealed a residency requirement that had been enacted in 1976, allowing rank-and-file city employees to live outside Springfield. Elected officials and department directors were still required to live in the city.

Since then, most Springfield city employees have been able to live outside of the city if they wanted to. But Langfelder favors reinstituting the requirement for new hires, while grandfathering in current employees who live outside Springfield’s boundaries.

A residency requirement — which became a campaign issue in last year’s mayoral election — was rekindled about three years ago, when 59 percent of voters in a nonbinding referendum favored requiring future employees to live in the city. But with aldermen at the time divided on the issue, the rule wasn’t reinstituted.

According to data provided by the city late last year, roughly 850 employees live within Springfield’s corporate limits, or roughly 60 percent of the workforce.

The State Journal Register

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The State Journal Register
November 10th, 2012

The State Journal-Register, as much a regional newspaper as it is a city newspaper, editorialized last Sunday that Springfield city government should think big and bold, and that city voters should kill a residency proposition for new municipal hires. City voters instead overwhelmingly voted “yes” for residency.

Clearly we need to think big and bold, but big and bold needs tax revenue, and tax revenue needs a strong tax base.

Look around us:

* Vast complexes of state government buildings are exempt from property taxes.

* Vast hospital complexes are exempt from property taxes.

* The owners of manufacturing facilities, which departed long ago, pay little real estate tax.

* City Water, Light and Power has a large power plant that is exempt from real estate taxes.

As a consequence, our municipal tax base increasingly relies upon homes, population and consumer spending.

And what is the SJ-R’s advice to the city? Squander a major source of the city’s potential and future tax base. Let your well-paid municipal families establish themselves in the surrounding rings of towns now prospering free of mature city legacy costs.

Residency may not be bold and imaginative, but it works, and it will enhance our revenue so we can be big and bold. Those municipal jobs belong to the people of Springfield. The residency they bring will help keep Springfield’s tax base stronger, and in so doing restrain tax rate increases.

Ward 7. Ald. Joe McMenamin
Springfield

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2012 Residency Referendum Results by Ward:

(% Signifies Voters who Support City Residency Requirement)

Ward 1 – 47.33%

Ward 2 – 57.97%

Ward 3 – 56.26%

Ward 4 – 55.44%

Ward 5 – 56.44%

Ward 6 – 56.59%

Ward 7 – 56.41%

Ward 8 – 54.12%

Ward 9 – 54.77%

Ward 10 – 52.64%

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Listen to an audio recording on residency:

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These palm cards below are from the November 2012 Residency Referendum Campaign. The voters supported the referendum with a large majority.

residency palm card side 2

residency palm card side 1

Download the PDF palm card with facts and benefits

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Return of the residency requirement – City council votes 6-4 to make future hires live in Springfield June 23, 2016

Patrick Yeagle
The Illinois Times

Future city employees will have to live inside Springfield under an ordinance passed Tuesday by the city council.

The controversial issue created a split among some unions, with police, fire and lineman unions opposing the measure and 15 other unions already adopting residency requirements in their contracts. The new ordinance also has potential to affect the city’s minority recruitment efforts when it takes effect next year.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder Read the rest of this entry »

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Springfield City Council approves residency requirement for new hires Jun. 21, 2016

John Reynolds
The State Journal-Register

After lengthy debate Tuesday night, the Springfield City Council approved a residency requirement for new hires.

The vote was tight, 6-4, with Mayor Jim Langfelder, who pushed for the requirement as “the right thing to do,” anxious to cast a tie-breaking vote. However, his vote was not needed. The “no” votes were by Ward. 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath, Ward 6 Ald. Cory Jobe, Ward 8 Ald. Kris Theilen and Ward 10 Ald. Ralph Hanauer.

“I’m excited the aldermen made the right decision in passing the ordinance Read the rest of this entry »

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Faith Coalition supports city residency requirement Jun. 14, 2016

John Reynolds
The State Journal-Register

Leaders from the Faith Coalition for the Common Good urged Springfield alderman on Tuesday to support a city residency ordinance. The ordinance, which would require new city hires to live within the city of Springfield, got its first reading at the Springfield City Council committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night.

Members of the coalition said required residency will boost job opportunities for Springfieldians who have a vested interest in the city Read the rest of this entry »

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Springfield city employee residency ordinance to get first reading next week Jun. 3, 2016

John Reynolds
The State Journal-Register

An ordinance requiring Springfield municipal employees to live within city limits will get its first reading at next week’s Springfield City Council meeting and a vote as early as June 21.

The ordinance, if approved, would go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and cover regular part-time, full-time and temporary employees. The ordinance provides an exemption for current city employees who have continuously maintained a home outside the city limits prior to 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

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Union contract language includes city residency provision Apr. 30, 2016

The State Journal-Register

There are 14 bargaining units in the city of Springfield that have agreed to language in their contracts that would allow for a residency requirement for future municipal hires. The most recent example is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 193, whose contract is up for a Springfield City Council vote on Tuesday.

Those 14 agreements have been reached since last year’s city elections, when Mayor Jim Langfelder, who while campaigning pushed for the reintroduction of a residency requirement Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayor Langfelder to propose residency requirement for city workers Oct. 10, 2015

Jamie Munks
The State Journal-Register

With more than 30 percent Springfield city workers not having Springfield addresses, and some municipal employees commuting as far as 80 miles, Mayor Jim Langfelder is seeking to reinstitute a requirement that new hires live in the city.

A residency ordinance was still being drafted at city hall last week, but Langfelder said he favors an approach with a “grandfather clause” that would allow current employees who reside outside the city to stay where they are and require people hired after a certain date to move inside the corporate limits within six months. Read the rest of this entry »

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Several Springfield aldermen would support residency rule, with reservations May 17, 2015

Jamie Munks
The State Journal-Register

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is a proponent of requiring the city’s new hires to dwell within its boundaries, and he will likely bring up a residency requirement proposal “sooner rather than later,” he said last week.

While a majority of Springfield’s 10 aldermen said last week that they could support a residency requirement with certain stipulations Read the rest of this entry »

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No action yet on Springfield city employee residency requirement Feb 24, 2013

Deana Stroisch
The State Journal-Register

A residency requirement for future Springfield city government workers remains on hold, almost four months after a majority of voters supported the idea. Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, who has been pushing for the residency rule, said last week that he’s talked to each alderman and the mayor about drafting an ordinance that would require new employees to live in the city limits.

McMenamin said several wanted to wait until after the city’s budget for fiscal 2014 was approved, which happened last week. Now, he said, some want to wait until Read the rest of this entry »

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Residency debate continues on Springfield City Council Nov 07, 2012

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

A day after a majority of Springfield residents voted in favor of requiring future city employees to live in the city, aldermen remained divided on the issue.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to call for an immediate vote by the city council. Instead, he plans to discuss the results of the advisory referendum with other aldermen and the mayor and then decide how to proceed.

About 59 percent of city voters supported the proposal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Residency referendum group pushing for ‘yes’ vote Oct 11, 2012

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

A group called Springfield Citizens for Residency has formed to encourage voters to support a non-binding referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. Committee members, who held a news conference Thursday, plan to start distributing 40,000 pamphlets this weekend that encourage voters to support a residency requirement for new city government employees.

“I think we need a real strong show of support by the voters of Springfield,” McMenamin said after Thursday’s press event. Read the rest of this entry »

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City needs a residency requirement September 27, 2012

Sheila Stocks-Smith
The Illinois Times

This upcoming Nov. 6 election is important because voters will help decide who gets the nation’s top job while they pick winners for congressional and state legislative seats, some local offices and ballot initiatives. And, while Springfield voters get their chance to shape the national, state and local political landscape, a local advisory referendum on residency requirements will also allow Springfield voters to have impact on an issue close to home.

This time, though, Springfield voters must pay close attention to the issue of residency requirements because the advisory question embodies more than just dictating where city employees live. It articulates whether we want to preserve Springfield’s identity as a city or adopt a regional vision for our area. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayor Houston allows residency referendum to move forward Aug 17, 2012

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston said Friday he will “let the people vote” on whether future city employees should be required to live in the city. The mayor said he signed off on the advisory referendum — which he called meaningless — because seven aldermen wanted to put the issue before voters on Nov. 6.

“The question will be what the members of the city council will do if the voters vote for a residency requirement in their wards,” Houston said. “Will they then vote to pass an ordinance creating a residency requirement? That is the question which remains to be answered.”

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, who sponsored the ordinance, said Read the rest of this entry »

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Springfield aldermen vote to hold residency referendum Aug 14, 2012

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

On their second try, Springfield aldermen agreed Tuesday to ask voters whether future city employees should be required to live inside Springfield city limits. If not vetoed by Mayor Mike Houston, the referendum, which would be advisory only, will be held in conjunction with the Nov. 6 presidential election.

The measure, which failed by a 5-5 vote just last week, passed 7-2-1 with the additional support of two aldermen – Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner, who changed her vote, and Ward 4 Ald. Frank Lesko, who was absent last week.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, who pushed for the ballot measure, isn’t celebrating yet. “Until the mayor signs the resolution, it’s not over yet,” he said. “I hope the mayor will say: ‘Let the voters speak.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Revote planned on employee residency issue Aug 10, 2012

Deana Stroisch
The State Journal-Register

A special meeting has been called for Tuesday for Springfield aldermen to reconsider their split decision not to ask voters whether future city employees should be required to live in the city. Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin said Friday he’s found the sixth vote needed to get the non-binding referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner, who supports a residency requirement but not an advisory referendum, said McMenamin convinced her to change her vote. “It doesn’t change my position as far as residency. I just didn’t feel like the referendum was the right way to go about it,” Turner said. “However, I will not stand in the way of it being put to the voters.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Opinion: Give voters a say on residency Aug 10, 2012

GateHouse News Service

Whether Springfield should require city employees to live inside the city limits has been a campaign issue in the last two city elections, so it was disappointing to see Mayor Mike Houston cast the deciding vote against allowing city voters to have a say on Wednesday.

In 2011 when Houston was running for mayor, he supported reinstating the rule under certain circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayor’s ‘no’ vote kills Springfield residency referendum proposal Aug 08, 2012

Deana Stroisch

The State Journal-Register

Mayor Mike Houston cast the deciding vote Wednesday against an advisory referendum that would have asked voters whether future city employees should be required to live in the city.

Houston, who supported a residency requirement during his campaign for mayor, said he has since learned that the city’s 23 union contracts would have to be renegotiated, which he described as a “very expensive process.” The new rules, he said, would likely only apply to new non-union employees.

The proposal, sponsored by Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, Read the rest of this entry »

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Springfield City Council to debate residency referendum August 5, 2012

Deana Stroisch
The State Journal-Register

Springfield voters could get a chance to weigh in on the debate over whether future employees hired by the city should live within the city limits.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, who made employee residency a campaign issue, has suggested putting the matter before voters in November.

He called it an important issue with “significant economic and local impact.” Read the rest of this entry »

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McMenamin still seeking votes for residency requirement April 1st, 2012

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

A proposal pushed by Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin requiring new city government employees to live inside Springfield’s borders has been stalled in committee for more than five months. But McMenamin says he isn’t giving up.“

Passing a residency requirement for new hires is about our city employees making a full commitment to this community, being our neighbors, dining at our restaurants … buying homes here, contributing to the real estate taxes that will finance their city pensions, and in the case of our police, parking their squad cars in our neighborhoods at night,” McMenamin said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Council to debate new residency requirement Oct 02, 2011

DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register

Any full-time, part-time or temporary employee hired after Oct. 28 would have to live in the city of Springfield, under a residency rule proposed by a Springfield alderman.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, who campaigned on the issue, has officially filed his proposal with the city clerk’s office. Aldermen will debate the idea in the coming weeks.  Under his proposal, future employees who do not maintain residency in Springfield could be fired. New employees who live outside the city would have two months after being hired to move within city limits or obtain temporary waivers. Read the rest of this entry »

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SJ-R: Ward 7 aldermen candidates clash over cleanup, residency rules Mar 21 2011

BERNARD SCHOENBURG
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

Excerpt:

Candidates for Ward 7 alderman clashed Monday over a community cleanup and city residency rules at a forum that featured a total of seven candidates for city offices.

Joe McMenamin, one of three candidates in Ward 7, used a closing statement at the end of the two-hour event sponsored by the MacArthur Boulevard Business Association to tout the need for a city residency rule and his leadership in cleaning up the former Kmart property along MacArthur.

McMenamin lamented that the city council ended the residency rule a decade ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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