[Adopted 12-4-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002; amended in its entirety 11-1-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Art. X, Employee Residency Requirements, adopted 1-3-1996 by Ord. No. 96-1, as amended.
Purpose and intent. The City of Ithaca Common Council recognizes that a residency requirement as a condition of employment as a department head or deputy would result in the following: enhancement of the quality of employee performance by greater personal knowledge of conditions in the City or the surrounding area and a feeling of greater personal stake in the progress of that local area, and enhanced response in ready situations. Therefore, the Common Council determines that the public need is sufficient to require that all City department heads and deputies hired or promoted by the City on or after the effective date of the amendment of this article in 2006 be residents of Tompkins County.
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DEPUTY DEPARTMENT HEADS
- Those City employees whose jobs require them to discharge the duties of their department head, in the absence or incapacity of the department head, and who are listed on a roster of deputies to be maintained by the Mayor, in consultation with the Human Resources Department.
- The place of residence where a person primarily lives, eats, sleeps, and maintains usual personal and household effects, and where the person returns to whenever temporarily absent. To be a Tompkins County resident, and to fulfill the residency requirement, a person shall not have a domicile outside Tompkins County.
Except as set forth below and as otherwise provided by law, the City of Ithaca hereby establishes a residency requirement for all department heads and deputies. Any such department head or deputy shall be a resident of Tompkins County within one year of that individual's hiring or promotion and shall continue to maintain residency within Tompkins County at all times during such continued employment. The following persons are excepted from this requirement:
Fire Department personnel;
City employees who serve at the pleasure of the Mayor;
Any current City employee who has been employed by the City for at least 10 years prior to the effective date of amendment of this provision in 2006, who currently resides outside Tompkins County and who was not as of the date of such amendment a department head or deputy;
Any employee who was a City department head or deputy as of the effective date of the aforementioned amendment, and who resided outside Tompkins County as of the effective date of said amendment.
A nonresident may be hired or promoted to department head or deputy by the City on the condition that the individual shall agree in writing to establish residency in Tompkins County within one year of that individual's hiring or promotion and to continue to maintain residency within Tompkins County at all times during continued employment after such period. A prospective nonresident employee or promotee shall additionally provide to the appointing authority a written timetable for attaining residency, which shall be updated every 90 days following the individual's hiring or promotion, concluding with a final status report 30 days prior to the expiration of the one-year anniversary of that individual's hiring or promotion.
Failure by any department head or deputy to maintain residency in Tompkins County during the period of employment or to establish residency within Tompkins County within one year, subject to a six-month extension by the Common Council for reasons of hardship, after being hired or promoted, shall constitute a breach of the employee's condition of employment and may result in the termination of the employee, subject to an investigation of residency.
Investigation and hearing as to residency.
Should it be alleged that an employee is not in compliance with § 98-68A of this article, the Mayor shall initiate an investigation and hearing as set forth below. This procedure may be commenced upon the sole discretion of the Mayor and shall be commenced in the event of a credible, third-party allegation.
The employee shall be provided with written notice of the alleged violation, allowing the employee seven calendar days in which to respond.
If there is a failure to respond or if, in the judgment of the Mayor, the response is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of this article, the Mayor shall set a date to hear the charge of nonresidence.
The employee shall be sent a written notice of the hearing date at least 15 calendar days prior to the hearing.
As necessary, the Mayor may direct that an investigation be conducted into the alleged violation, the results of which shall be presented at the hearing.
The Mayor shall appoint an individual with no personal or professional stake in the outcome of the hearing to conduct the hearing. The Mayor shall in writing designate an individual who, for the purpose of the hearing, shall be vested with all the powers of the Mayor and who shall refer the hearing record and his or her recommendations to the Mayor for review and decision.
The hearing shall be held within 30 days after the employee's seven-calendar-day response period set forth in Subsection B(1)(a) of this subsection expires.
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, and the burden of proof shall be upon the employee.
The employee who is the subject of the hearing shall have a right to be represented by counsel or other representatives of his/her choice.
A record of the hearing shall be made.
Should an employee establish residency within Tompkins County to the satisfaction of the Mayor, prior to the hearing date, it shall result in a cancellation of the hearing authorized by this section.
Should the Mayor determine, following the hearing and recommendation therefrom, that an employee is a nonresident in violation of this article, the employee shall be notified in writing that he or she has been deemed to have voluntarily resigned from employment as of the date of the determination.
Upon establishing or reestablishing residency within Tompkins County, an individual having so resigned may apply for reinstatement to his or her former position, which reinstatement shall be at the discretion of the Mayor.
Notice and posting. A copy of this article shall be provided to each employee upon his or her initial appointment or promotion, and a copy of this article shall be posted on all notice boards normally used for employee communications. However, a failure to do so shall not affect the application of this article to any employee appointed or promoted after its effective date.
Implementation and enforcement. The Mayor shall be responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this article, including but not necessarily limited to: