[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda 6-6-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of North Tonawanda's residency policy is that there is and shall be a residency law for purposes of public employment, unless exempted by state or federal law or City Charter. The following stated Residency Ordinance shall embody the residency policy of the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda, both substantively and procedurally.
The Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda recognizes that emergency work situations arise which require employees to be near their place of employment and to assume the continuation of public services to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the people. Through adoption of this chapter the City makes a legislative determination that those employees who are residents of the City take a greater interest in promoting the public safety, health and welfare of this community than do nonresidents whose families reside in areas unaffected by City services. The City further declares that such a quality is desirable for its employees. The legislative body considers that residency by its employees within the community will assure continuation of essential public services. The City determines that the public need is sufficient to require that present employees and employees hired or promoted after the effective date of this chapter shall be residents of the City of North Tonawanda.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The actual principal domicile of an individual, where an individual resides, as indicated by where an individual usually sleeps and maintains usual personal and household effects.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the City hereby reestablishes and restates its residency requirement for all present and prospective employees. Every person presently employed by the City of North Tonawanda shall be a resident of the City and must reside within the geographical boundaries of the political subdivision (municipality) known as the "City of North Tonawanda, New York," as a qualification of employment. Notwithstanding the above, this chapter does not apply to all present City employees, whether they reside inside or outside of the geographical boundaries of the City on the effective date of this chapter. Any employees who are hired after the effective date of this chapter must reside within the geographical boundaries of the City and continue to do so as a condition of continuing employment with the City of North Tonawanda.
Further more, every future or prospective person to be employed by the City of North Tonawanda shall, as a qualification of employment, be at the time of examination and/or appointment a resident of the State of New York for one year and of the City of North Tonawanda for four months. Thereafter, every future or prospective employee of the City of North Tonawanda shall be a resident of the City and must reside within the geographical boundaries of the political subdivision (municipality) known as the "City of North Tonawanda, New York," as a qualification/condition of employment. During the time of service, no employee shall cease to be a resident of the City of North Tonawanda.
All current employees, including but not limited to appointed public officers, and all future municipal employees, except as otherwise provided by federal or state law or City Charter, shall reside within the City of North Tonawanda during their time of service. Any employee, including but not limited to any appointed public officer, who moves his or her residence out of the City of North Tonawanda shall be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from employment. Upon reestablishing residency, an individual, having so deemed resigned, may apply to the Common Council for reinstatement to his or her former position and may be reinstated at the sole discretion of the Common Council and by a majority vote (three votes) of the entire Common Council.
The above requirements shall not apply to the persons appointed to the positions of Plumbing Inspector or Electrical Inspector.
In the event that the City determines that it is in the best interest to do so, the provisions of § 73B-3 may be waived with respect to either an incumbent or a prospective employee of a particular title in accordance with the following standards:
Lack of qualified applicants. The requirement of residency may be waived in those instances and circumstances where the employer has difficulty hiring or promoting the most qualified person because of its residency requirement.
Necessity for nonresidence. The requirement of residency may be waived in those instances where it is determined that residency is not in the best interest of the municipality as, for example, the responsibilities of an employee for the City might be best fulfilled by permitting residency to be located outside of the geographical boundaries of the municipality.
Necessity because of illness of a family member. The requirement of residency may be waived in those instances and circumstances where the employee must take care of an immediate family member who has a serious illness or is disabled and resides outside of the geographical boundaries of the municipality.
Said application may be granted only by a majority vote (three votes) of the entire Common Council.
A copy of this chapter shall be provided to all current employees and to all employees upon initial appointment/hiring. However, the failure of the employer to do so shall not affect the application of this chapter to any employee appointed/hired either before or after its effective date. A copy of this chapter shall also be posted once a year by the City Clerk on the notice board normally used by the employer for employee communications. However, failure of the City Clerk to post this chapter shall not be deemed a waiver of the residency requirement.
Should it be alleged that an employee is not in compliance with § 73B-3 of this chapter, the employee's supervisor, the City Clerk or the Common Council, upon becoming aware of the allegation, shall provide the employee written notice of his or her alleged violation and shall allow the employee five business days (exclusive of Saturday, Sunday and holidays) in which to respond in writing. Where there is a failure to respond or where the response is not, in the judgment of the Common Council, sufficient to satisfy the requirements of this chapter, the Common Council shall solely designate an individual as a hearing officer and set a date to hear the charge of nonresidence. A record of the hearing shall be made. Should an employee establish residency to the satisfaction of the Common Council prior to the hearing date, it may result in a cancellation of the hearing authorized by this section. Said hearing officer shall make a determination and submit said advisory determination to the Common Council for its review and determination.
The employee shall be sent a notice of the hearing date by personal delivery or by certified mail to the employee's last known address of record at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The hearing record and the written determination of the hearing officer as to whether the employee is a nonresident in violation of this chapter shall be referred to the Common Council for its review and decision. Should the Common Council decide that an employee is a nonresident in violation of this chapter, the employee shall be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from employment. Upon an individual's reestablishing residency, he or she may apply for reinstatement to his or her former position and may be reinstated only at the sole discretion of a majority vote (three votes) of the entire Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda.
In the event that this chapter or any provision of it shall be deemed by a court to be in conflict with a provision of Federal or State Constitutions or with a provision of a general law or the City Charter, or if adherence to or enforcement of any section of this chapter shall be restrained by a court, the remaining provisions of this chapter shall not be affected and shall be in full force and effect.
This chapter shall take effect upon its passage by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda at a regular public meeting and publication in the official newspaper of the City.