City Council considers requiring City Hall supervisors to live in Baltimore

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 05:01:10 AM. Councilwoman who is sponsoring the bill says requiring City Hall supervisors to live in Baltimore will help keep residents and tax dollars in Baltimore.

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed plans to submit legislation Monday that will require all top officials in Baltimore’s government to live in the city.

Baltimore’s City Charter already requires the heads of each of Baltimore’s 55 departments and agencies to live in the city. But there is no requirement other members of the mayor’s cabinet — such as the chief of staff or deputy mayors — and other agency-level supervisors live in Baltimore.

Sneed’s bill would change that. It requires all at-will supervisors who report directly to either the mayor or the agency head to live in Baltimore.

Sneed said she got the idea while knocking doors during her successful campaign for the council last year. The purpose, she said, is to help keep residents and tax dollars in Baltimore.

“This is a big one for me,” she said. “This will really make a difference for us with people living in Baltimore City and spending their resources in Baltimore City. Their taxes will make our schools better. If we all live here who work here, that’s a start.”

A day in the life of Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh CAPTION

Shadowing Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh as she attends events and numerous meetings throughout the day. (Amy Davis, Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun video)

Shadowing Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh as she attends events and numerous meetings throughout the day. (Amy Davis, Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun video)

Groundbreaking for Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood community Center CAPTION

The groundbreaking for a community center in the Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood which is  part of a large redevelopment project called Stadium Square. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun video)

The groundbreaking for a community center in the Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood which is  part of a large redevelopment project called Stadium Square. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun video)

The bill applies only to new hires and does not apply to those who already work in city government. It provides a six-month window for a new hire to move into Baltimore and become a registered voter if the new hire signs paperwork pledging to do so.

The legislation applies to potentially hundreds of positions throughout city government.

The number of full-time city employees has shrunk from more than 15,000 to more than 13,000 over the past decade — as former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sought to reign-in costs. About half of Baltimore municipal employees live outside the city.

Lester Davis, a spokesman for City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, said Young supports the bill and believes it is likely to pass.

“He himself has introduced similar legislation in the past,” Davis said. “The more dollars we can encourage to recirculate in the city, the better it is for the overall health of the city.”

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

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