Springfield city councilors: 'Move in, or move on' - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Springfield city councilors: 'Move in, or move on'

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Springfield city councilors are considering a referendum that would make it mandatory for all city employees to live within city limits.

It's a rule that has gone unenforced for years, and city councilors have tried multiple times to get it back on the books.

Supporters say it will help recover tax dollars, while opponents think it crosses a line.

Thirty-two city employees could be looking for new jobs in six months if the council passes the residency requirement.

"If they haven't moved in within the six-month period, then it's time for them to move on," said Springfield City Council President James Ferrera.

Ferrera and members of the council voiced their frustrations inside city council chambers Monday. They say workers should be required to live within the city.

"I'm sick and tired of subsidizing other communities with having individuals that live on the city's dime," Ferrera said.

Ferrera says the combined salaries of those 32 city workers is upwards of $2 million, and that money is being shelled out in Springfield but being spent somewhere else.

"(It's) money that could be used in the city of Springfield to contribute to property taxes, money that could be used in the city of Springfield to go to our local restaurants, to local businesses," he said.

CBS 3 asked the people who pay those salaries - the taxpayers of Springfield - what they think.

Some say it should be a suggestion, not a requirement.

"I do understand where city hall is coming from, but at the same time, people that live outside the city, if there's not a lot of jobs in their area, and there's jobs here in Springfield, why not?" Barrington Johnson said. 

Others told CBS 3 that city workers should be allowed to live wherever they want.

"You shouldn't have to tell somebody where to live. That's a loss of freedom. That's privacy," Lonnie Sanders said.

The council will vote on this on Wednesday night. If it gets the seven votes needed, those 32 employees will have six months to move into Springfield or find new jobs.

This requirement does not apply to police or firefighters.

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