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Old 09-30-2013, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,085 posts, read 4,017,145 times
Reputation: 2505

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperionGap View Post
I am very well aware of which positions are elected and which are payroll.... who do you think hires the City Manager or Chief of Police, etc etc ?


I guess I am of the opinion that the point of a city government having employees is so they can do the jobs necessary to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the community, not to provide jobs to the community or act as an economic subsidy. I understand where you are coming from, though, I just don't agree with it. As you mentioned earlier, Milwaukee has socialism in its history, so this really isn't a new thing.
I don't think of my position on this as "socialist," but rather as "community based." It isn't enough for an applicant for a city job to have all of the appropriate skills that can be checked off on a list; I also think the city employee represents the city and acts on behalf of it, just like any elected official. The people working for the city, making decisions for the city, providing public services for the city, and so on, should have a vested interest (residency, at minimum) in the city themselves, and should suffer the successful and unsuccessful consequences of their work (and the work of their city employee colleagues). They are, in effect, part of a community--not just punch-clock employees. Fortunately, some out-of-towners will care about Milwaukee and its people, but in the end, their paychecks will go to support other communities, their neighborhoods will be in other communities, their kids will attend schools in other communities, and so on and so forth.

If Milwaukee only had 30,000 people or so (like many suburbs do), then maybe it would be hard to find qualified workers from the city, and the burbs would be asked to provide a labor pool. But for most city jobs, there are perfectly well qualified people within the city, capable of helping run the city they live in. These applicants should be prioritized, and no city's public jobs should be up for grabs unless the city consents.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:50 PM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,289 posts, read 12,920,289 times
Reputation: 11529
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperionGap View Post
Ok so if you think all those reasons are completely irrelevant and fallacious then why would any City of Milwuakee employees want to live in those god awful suburbs where it's so expensive, there's no benefit to having a better school district and the average residents don't earn less than one third that of their critical public service providers? If there's no attraction to live in the suburbs then it shouldn't matter if Milwaukee got rid of the residency requirement because all of its employees would stay in Milwaukee right?
Probably for the same reasons anyone else wants to live there, wherever "there", is. Franklin, Brookfield, Mequon, whatever.

I have no problem with people wanting to live in the suburbs at all. There are things about the suburbs that could be perceived as advantageous.

At risk of simply re-stating Empidonax's post, which more or less sums up my opinion, I'll say this: I have a problem when the people who are responsible for the day to day operation of the major city in which we live, can't be bothered to live with us. Residents invest in their community, because it's there, and it's their community.

And, like Empidonax already said, if we're going to release municipal employees from residency requirements, why not just outsource those jobs entirely? If the jobs--many of which are arguably overpaid--don't provide any reinvestment in our own city, why not just privatize everything that can be privatized? Why not outsource everything that can be outsourced?

Not only that, while we're at it, the "average" $65k+ police and fire employees are eating up a ton of tax dollars, particularly when not required to live in the city anymore. I have no doubt that the MFD and MPD's responsibilities could be handled equally well by people making less, unencumbered by the unions that have held the residents of Milwaukee hostage and indirectly resulted in some of the huge property taxes. With private police and fire contracts, essential services could be opened up to competition, even from neighboring communities. There is potentially a lot of money to be made here (not by rank and file employees, of course). This type of thing wouldn't necessarily benefit residents, but it would likely make up for the lack of tax base poured back into the community through municipal employees who were once required to live there.

To wrap it up, I don't think it's unfair to require people to live in the city as a condition of employment. Although people argue the "personal freedom" angle, freedoms and rights can be, and are contracted away, on a daily basis. While some things may be easier in the suburbs (finding a good school), those things aren't impossible in the city, and many city residents who don't work for the city send their children to private schools, or take advantage of some of the special schools or school choice, so those options are clearly there. Given the totality of the situation, I see no value in releasing City employees from the residency requirement.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:52 AM
 
Location: OC/LA
3,831 posts, read 3,509,514 times
Reputation: 2214
I grew up in a 45,000 population unincorporated community where everything was essentially outsourced and definitely a portion of "government" employees lived outside of the community (I have no idea has to what %). Most of our services were provided by LA County (Fire/Police/DPW), trash pickup & utilities were privatized, and schools were part of Pasadena Unified. Based off of my experience and the sense of community evident in the area, I just don't see Milwaukee going down the tubes and neighborhoods starting to wither if they release the residency requirement.

I could care less if the person picking up my trash lives in my community or the next one over. It's a job; I care about how qualified the employee is to do it, not where he lives. Maybe it's just how I grew up (LA has no residency requirements) and I find it perfectly normal whereas this is a new thing for you guys. I don't know.


Since you seem quite interested in the MPD pay/budget I think you might find this econometric study very interesting.

http://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp279.pdf

According to the results (significantly dated but still worth browsing) the study found that cities with residency laws for its police force were able to pay 15% less for its officers and maintain comparable employment as those cities that did not.


Also, Milwaukee is already starting to outsource some of its jobs out of state. You should go talk to your contacts.

Dallas firm will take over MCTS


One final thing that caught my eye:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 43north87west View Post
Although people argue the "personal freedom" angle, freedoms and rights can be, and are contracted away, on a daily basis.
Just because they can be (and are) doesn't mean they SHOULD be or that I agree with it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,289 posts, read 12,920,289 times
Reputation: 11529
I've also lived in a number of suburbs that didn't have citizenship requirements, but they weren't comparable to Milwaukee, so I don't trust the relevance of their comparison.

Maybe I'm way off track. It's just my opinion. I'm not in the employ of a public policy think tank or anything like that. There are plenty of studies on the issue.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
50 posts, read 49,942 times
Reputation: 184
My husband and I are hardly socialists either, but we both recognize the reasoning behind the residency requirements. In Chicago there is an employment restriction for city employees and I totally get it.

We're very familiar with and love Milwaukee. It is reassuring that residents there express some concern about the well being of their city and the preservation of the quality of life. Milwaukee is so much like Chicago and some other northern cities in that respect. There seems to be much more of a sense of community around here, than in most of the western cities.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: OC/LA
3,831 posts, read 3,509,514 times
Reputation: 2214
Maybe it's a cultural thing as to why it doesn't bother me. Many people living in Milwaukee (and throughout midwest) have families that have lived in the general area/state for 4+ generations. The majority of the LA (and the rest southwest) area is not like that; most people are transplants from the Midwest/Eastcoast/across the border or the first generation born to those transplants. I can see that having an effect on civic/community pride if you went to the same school as your mother and your uncle is on the police force and your grandfather helped build some bridge or landmark building, etc.

But on the other hand, I had none of that and think I grew up in the best community in the world bar absolute none.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
50 posts, read 49,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperionGap View Post
Maybe it's a cultural thing as to why it doesn't bother me. Many people living in Milwaukee (and throughout midwest) have families that have lived in the general area/state for 4+ generations. The majority of the LA (and the rest southwest) area is not like that; most people are transplants from the Midwest/Eastcoast/across the border or the first generation born to those transplants. I can see that having an effect on civic/community pride if you went to the same school as your mother and your uncle is on the police force and your grandfather helped build some bridge or landmark building, etc.

We understand that you think very highly of yourself and consider us Midwesterners to be a bunch of inbred simpletons. It's the standard response when outsiders attack Midwesterners on their own turf.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperionGap View Post
But on the other hand, I had none of that and think I grew up in the best community in the world bar absolute none.
That is totally typical of Angelenos. Their inflated self image exists merely as a function of where they are from, instead of the sum of their character; once they get loose beyond the confines of their little protective shell of Southern California, they slowly realize that they are really seen as defective douchebags whose fragile little egos crack at even the most polite exchange of opinions.

It's a cultural thing and that's why statements like yours don't bother me.

Last edited by ♥Puddles♥; 10-01-2013 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:38 PM
 
Location: OC/LA
3,831 posts, read 3,509,514 times
Reputation: 2214
Quote:
Originally Posted by ♥Puddles♥ View Post
We understand that you think very highly of yourself and consider us Midwesterners to be a bunch of inbred simpletons. It's the standard response when outsiders attack Midwesterners on their own turf.




That is totally typical of Angelenos. Their inflated self image exists merely as a function of where they are from, instead of the sum of their character; once they get loose beyond the confines of their little protective shell of Southern California, they slowly realize that they are really seen as defective douchebags whose fragile little egos crack at even the most polite exchange of opinions.

It's a cultural thing and that's why statements like yours don't bother me.
How was that an attack on Midwesterners? Good lord you're defensive and then you follow it up with a crack at Angelenos. Talk about being hypocritical.

I've lived in St. Louis for 5 years and now Milwaukee for 3. My mother is from Iowa and her entire side of the family lives there and I have visited more times than I can remember. I think I have a fairly decent grasp of the Midwest. Thankfully its not full of fu**ing Illinois Sh**heads Towing a Boat (FISHTAB's as my co-workers so nicely like to call the garbage coming up from Chicago).
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,085 posts, read 4,017,145 times
Reputation: 2505
Quote:
Based off of my experience and the sense of community evident in the area, I just don't see Milwaukee going down the tubes and neighborhoods starting to wither if they release the residency requirement.
Give it a few years--places like Minneapolis, Buffalo, and Detroit have already seen a negative impact.

Quote:
I could care less if the person picking up my trash lives in my community or the next one over. It's a job; I care about how qualified the employee is to do it, not where he lives.
An either/or proposition? If your next-door neighbor in Milwaukee were denied a city job as trash collector because an equally qualified person from another city was granted the job, perhaps you would care. Why would you support hiring someone from elsewhere when there are qualified people in your own community?

Quote:
Maybe it's just how I grew up (LA has no residency requirements) and I find it perfectly normal whereas this is a new thing for you guys. I don't know.
I grew up in a high-demand suburb of San Francisco/San Jose where most of the city workers came from other communities. This situation worked well for the suburb, though I did notice that most of my teachers didn't know what was going on in my community. It always seemed odd to me that they lived in other communities, but eventually I realized it was largely because they couldn't afford to live in my suburb. It was fine: they did their job well, and after work they basically disappeared and left the yuppies, engineers, and brokers to shape the culture of my neighborhood. But what worked for my little overpriced suburb doesn't always work for other communities: each municipality should be able to determine its own fate. If Milwaukee can keep its teachers, police, and firefighters within its borders, it will keep its middle class and the culture that emerges from it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: OC/LA
3,831 posts, read 3,509,514 times
Reputation: 2214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
An either/or proposition? If your next-door neighbor in Milwaukee were denied a city job as trash collector because an equally qualified person from another city was granted the job, perhaps you would care. Why would you support hiring someone from elsewhere when there are qualified people in your own community?
Well first off I would say my neighbor should get his skills up and be MORE qualified

That being said, I guess I am more averse to the fact that you can't EVER move out of the municipality once you're hired than the actual hiring within the municipality part. I have been reading a couple of economics articles discussing both sides of the issue and I understand the merits to both. Earlier I said:
Quote:
That being said, I think a compromise between the two would be feasible. Something like new hires have to be from within the city but after 2 years employees could move wherever they wanted to.
Maybe 2 years is too short and 5-10 would be more reasonable, I don't know. Either way, people's lifestyles and housing needs change over time and the residency requirement could severely limit a family's/individual's choice on where to live and in many circumstances I think it really does create an unreasonable "hardship." As you said earlier, the city does waive the requirement in certain scenarios. I don't know enough details about their policies, but if it's lax enough I suppose I could support a residency requirement if it made lots of allowances for exigent circumstances.

Hypothetically, if I've worked hard for 20 years at a job living in the same neighborhood in Milwaukee and contributing to the local economy all this time, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I would get canned solely because I moved to a lakefront house I want to retire at 5 years from now.
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