Residency no longer a requirement in Essex County

Board of Supervisors rescinds employee regulation

The Essex County Board of Supervisors

The Essex County Board of Supervisors Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Essex County no longer has a residency policy for employees.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors passed a pair of resolutions at its March 5 meeting, rescinding the county's residency policy as well as granting residency waiver requests for 14 current out-of-county residents.

County attorney Dan Manning said that the waivers were needed because the employees felt that they had been told by their departments that they had already received a waiver.

"A lot of these people say that they had a defacto waiver from the county and we have just not done enough of a job keeping up with it," Manning said. "Let's wipe the slate clear and allow the people who have worked here for many years to continue to work here as they have."

Westport Supervisor Dan Connell said that while he did not mind rescinding the policy, he had a problem with the waivers.

"We laid off 15 people when we had this policy that you had to be a county resident, so I have a problem that we let them stay now," Connell said. "I do not have a problem with the new plan that rescinds the policy, but when we had it and then didn't use it, I have a problem with that."

Connell and Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava opposed the waivers.

The board then discussed the rescinding of the residency policy as a whole, which North Hudson Supervisor Ronald Moore felt was a mistake.

"I think it is a mistake not having a residency policy," Moore said. "I can't understand how we went from an attempt at putting some teeth in a policy that we had on our books to totally doing away with it."

Moore said that he always looked from within his town for employees because that is what the taxpayers wanted.

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