Residency rules

To the Editor:

Governor Walker's budget bill contains a provision that would bar municipalities from requiring residency for public employees. What does residency have to do with the State Budget? When I asked that question repeatedly of the person who answered Governor Walker's phone, the only answer I got was that "it's in the budget". Governor Walker is overreaching. Residency for municipal employees is not a state issue; it is a local issue. As a taxpayer, I want the people who work for me to live in Sheboygan and help pay the costs of their high salaries and benefits.

Is this Governor Walker's payback to the Milwaukee Firemen and Policemen who strongly supported him in his campaign and who do not like being required to live in Milwaukee? It would seem logical that residency is especially important for those who respond to emergencies.

I am tired of the practice of tying unrelated issues to important bills as a way to pass controversial legislation.

I have also contacted Rep Endsley and Sen Leibham about this issue, but have not yet had a response as to their position on residency and why it is part of the Budget.

The Sheboygan City Council is currently dealing with the issue of residency for non-rep employees and will be voting Monday night on a resolution to eliminate the residency requirement for non-rep City employees. To me this sends the message that Sheboygan is not a good place to live. Some argue that requiring residency does not allow hiring the most qualified persons. I would argue that if a person is not interested in living in the City where they work that they should stay where they are. Our elected representatives should support residency for City employees.

And the issue should be removed from the State Budget Bill.

Dolcye Johnson

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