York City Council punts on residency requirement change, plans town hall

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Council President Henry Nixon tells Tonya Thompson-Morgan, not shown, she is out of line during a town hall meeting concerning Mayor Michael Helfrich's hiring of Blanda Nace as chief opportunity development officer, Monday, June 24, 2019. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

The York City Council plans to schedule an early-January town hall to discuss proposed residency requirement legislation after pulling a vote on the measure recently because of residents' concerns.

City Council President Henry Nixon announced the town hall after citing feedback during a Tuesday, Dec. 17, council meeting on the "hot subject" that would greatly loosen requirements dictating where nonunion city employees have to live.

"We want to have kind of a town hall meeting in early January, where we can have it in a space that's bigger than this, in hopes of having everyone participate in this to help us make decisions about lifting the residency requirement," Nixon said.

A date for the town hall has not yet been set, Nixon added.

More:York City might loosen residency mandate for non-union employees

The proposed legislation would loosen residential living requirements for the the city's 97 nonunion employees by allowing them to live anywhere in York County as well as in seven surrounding counties.

If the legislation passes, employees would be allowed to live in neighboring Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lancaster counties, as well as Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties in Maryland.

After the meeting, Nixon said that council members have been contacted by residents voicing two main concerns.

Some residents have said it is best to ensure that those who work in the city also live there, Nixon said.

On the other hand, he added, some have told the council that any restrictions on where a city worker must live could prevent the municipality from hiring the most qualified candidates.

The city's union employees also have residency requirements, but those requirements differ depending on contracts with the various unions. Those workers would not be affected by the proposed legislation.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.