City sets residency hearing

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council will conduct a public hearing Sept. 9 on whether to loosen the city residency requirement for four positions, allowing candidates from throughout Fulton County.

Mayor Dayton King wants to open up residency requirements for the city positions, from being required to reside in Gloversville to being able to live anywhere in Fulton County.

The Common Council voted Tuesday night to hold a public hearing on the issue at its next meeting Sept. 9. The council session starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

City Clerk Susan Semione said today the hearing will be specifically about whether to lift the residency requirement for four positions. She said they are: city attorney, Department of Public Works director, Transit Department director, and deputy finance commissioner. She said those are the only four city positions currently required to live in the city, and the deputy finance commissioner position remains vacant.

King told the council Tuesday at City Hall that loosening the requirement of living in the city for certain positions will bring in more candidates.

“I just don’t know if it’s always easy to find somebody for those positions,” King said.

The mayor noted how he and the council have had discussions about the restrictive residency requirement for the deputy finance commissioner post, which the city has been unable to fill. Now, he said he wished to have the city have the ability to open the search up beyond Gloversville’s borders for the other three positions too, once they become vacant.

King said that when you “have a city of 100,000 people,” it may be appropriate to legislate certain administrative staff live in the city. But for a city of 15,300 like Gloversville, he said it might not always be appropriate.

Sixth Ward Supervisor Wrandy Siarkowski asked if the residency changes should involve any other positions.

King said he didn’t think so. The mayor said the police and fire chiefs are not required to live in Gloversville, but the current ones do live in Fulton County.

King said he wanted to “put something in writing” regarding the four positions in question.

City Attorney Anthony Casale said he conferred with city Labor Attorney Brian Goldberger, who said the residency changes are not subject to approval through public referendum. Casale said changes can be made in “short order” through a local law.