Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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Heated Newburgh City Council exchange over residency requirement

NEWBURGH – Following a subdued public hearing in which seven people expressed their opinions about the City of Newburgh’s residency requirement for department heads, city council members locked horns.

The issue stems from the difficulty in finding qualified candidates for police and fire chief who either live in the city or are willing to move in.

Mayor Judy Kennedy supports hiring the best candidates regardless of where they live. That elicited an outburst from Councilman Torrance Harvey.

“You both voted, check the record – Mayor Kennedy and Councilwoman Abrams - you both voted for the residency requirement in 2014 and now you are flip-flopping on the issue,” Harvey said.

The mayor responded.

“One of the things that we should all be open to is to learn,” Kennedy said. “I voted for it, yes, in 2015, and since then, I have seen the fallout – the unexpected and unanticipated issues that have come out of this.”

There was no vote on a modification of the residency law by the council Monday night.

Harvey, meanwhile, said he learned earlier in the day that a qualified candidate for police chief is willing to accept the position and move his family into the City of Newburgh.

 


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