Friday, September 7, 2018

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Newburgh to reconsider department head residency requirement

NEWBURGH – The Newburgh City Council is going to revisit its residency requirement for department heads.

Since 2015, a local law requires those top officials to live in the city, but city attorney Michelle Kelson said the amendment would modify that.

“Anybody who is a city employee at the time of the amendment, who has the opportunity to be promoted through a chain of command to a department head position would be grandfathered in the same way in the same way those of us who were existing department heads were at the time of the original adoption,” Kelson explained to council members at Thursday night’s workshop session.

What that means is acting Fire Chief Terry Ahlers, a long-time member of the fire department who lives outside the city limits, could be made permanent chief and City Comptroller Katie Mack, who also does not live in the city, would be named permanent comptroller.

The city council will also hold a public hearing in the future to discuss the possibility of term limits. Not everyone believes there is a need for them. Councilman Jonathan Jacobson said until now, term limits have been decided by the voters at the ballot box.

 


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