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Employee Residency Requirement Act proposed

ERIE COUNTY — Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo submitted a proposed local law that would require county employees to reside within Erie County. The “Erie County Employee Residency Requirement Act” was filed with the Legislature on March 19.

“Taxpayers who fund employee salaries deserve a workforce that has a personal interest in the success of this county,” Lorigo said. “That personal interest is derived and maintained by the fact that our employees live here and rely on the same services they are tasked with providing.”

Current employees who reside outside of Erie County’s borders would be grandfathered in and allowed to maintain their positions and residences, without penalty. If the new law is approved, new hires would be required to reside within Erie County, when accepting positions.

“The law takes into consideration that several positions, within the county, require a highly-skilled individual and recruitment outside of Erie County’s borders may be necessary,” Lorigo said. “If a qualified applicant from Erie County is not found, an exception can be made, with Legislature approval. We want to encourage local employment, when possible, but don’t want to shortchange the public on expertise, when it comes to providing them the best service, possible.”

A non-county resident who is hired, under the exception clause, would be required to move into Erie County, within 6 months of employment.

Lorigo said that he anticipates the Erie County Employee Residency Requirement Act will be sent to the Government Affairs Committee for review at the next session, before a public hearing is scheduled. After the public hearing is held, the Legislature would set a date, to vote on the local law.

“I was surprised to learn that Erie County did not have a residency requirement and believe that anyone employed by county taxpayers should also be paying county taxes and thus, have a vested interest in the county’s wellbeing and future,” Lorigo added.

For more information about the Erie County Employee Residency Requirement Act, contact Lorigo at 858-8922 or email joseph.lorigo@erie.gov.
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