It has been my longstanding policy to require residency for City employees. Many people have asked me to relax this policy, but I feel very strongly about it for a number of reasons.
First, I want to give residents every opportunity for employment in the city where they live. I believe we have a talent pool that can provide the right experience and expertise for many positions.
Second, for certain specific jobs that require expertise that is less common or more field specific, I advertise statewide to find the right person. However, these individuals are required to live in Trenton, because I believe that if you are going to work for the City, you need to know the City and be a part of the community.
Third, I believe this city is a desirable place to live and work. It is also a city that critically needs its middle-income base of residents who have more of the disposable income that positively affects our city as a whole. I would especially want Police Officers, Firefighters and Teachers to live in the City, to get to know the communities they serve and have a vested interest in Trenton.
Unfortunately, I am preempted by State law to require these employees to live in our city. However, I am certain that if this critical mass of public servants did live in our city, our neighborhoods and schools would be better stabilized, and, we likely would have much less need to have a residency requirement in the first place.
That having been said, we are seeing much success in being able to attract market rate homebuyers who choose to invest and live in Trenton. They reside in neighborhoods all over our city.
– Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, spring of 2006