"You are a community leader, a leader for the organization and you're making decisions that impact the community. And you ought to be bound by those same decisions," said Sandy Behnke, Appleton Director of Human Resource
Residency requirements are not uncommon. But they do vary. Some require public works and public safety employees, as well as department directors to live within city limits, other permit employees to live anywhere within a county. And that can raise new issues if public safety agencies are merged.
"We were looking at the potential of a merger with the Grand Chute Police Department. We said--"Okay. If we're merging with another community and we're collaborating with other communities, are we still going to require our police chief to live in Appleton?," Behnke added.
But some area communities have also found a compromise. So they not only have their ideal candidates in place as department heads, they're also able to get them in place quickly in a crisis situation.
The City of Neenah requires department heads to live within a 20-mile radius of city hall. The only exception is the fire chief. After Neenah and Menasha merged their fire departments, the chief was required to live within a 20-mile radius of the the Neenah or Menasha city halls.
"The reason for the 20-mile radius is our department heads are part of our emergency management team. And in the event of an emergency, we want them to be able to respond relatively quickly. We wouldn't want someone responding say from Milwaukee. Because they wouldn't get here in a timely manner."
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.