Residency issue to go on ballot

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

Should Ironton’s city solicitor, finance director and public works director be required to live within city limits? Voters will decide that question when they go to the polls to vote in November.

Ironton City Council agreed Thursday night to place on the ballot an ordinance that would eliminate the requirement that such employees must live in the city.

“By removing the citizenship requirement, we can put these jobs out to a larger pool of people,” councilman Leo Johnson said. “I also think it may be illegal.”

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Other members agreed.

“I think it’s kind of ludicrous. It cuts down on recruiting. I don’t think there is any crisis that would the finance director or city solicitor to be here in five minutes,” councilman Chuck O’Leary said.

“But I would hope whoever got hired in the future would feel they should move into the city,” councilman

Price said.

Right now the city’s legal counsel, Mack Anderson, and public works director John McCabe do live in city limits but interim finance director Kathy Elam does not. Other department heads, such as police chief and fire chief, are not required to live in city limits, either.

In other matters, Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon told council members that federal law mandates them to take a class incident command in order for the city to be compliant with National Incident Command System (NIMS) regulations. Non-compliance could cost the city grant money.

“For us to qualify for grants — not just fire grants but any federal grant, we must be NIMS compliant,” Runyon said.

The roughly three-hour course may be taken online via the Internet.

Council also heard from Friends of Ironton Vice President Rick McKnight, who asked the city to enter into a 25-year lease with the civic organization for land near Moulton Field and Ironton Hills Shopping center.

The land is now used as a compost dump site for the city. FOI wants to turn the land into a civic park for large-scale community events. A detailed story about these plans will be in the Sunday edition of The Ironton Tribune.