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Council delays action on residency rules

September 25, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Council members delayed action Tuesday that would have changed the city's employee residency requirement to bring it in line with the state's.

Council members Lewis C. Metzner and William M. Breichner said they wouldn't vote for the resolution.

Since only four council members were present at Tuesday night's meeting, the measure had no chance of passing. Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein was absent due to a death in the family.

Starting Oct. 1, City of Hagerstown general employees will no longer have to live in Maryland because of a new state law. The city administrator and newly hired department managers would still have to live in the city.

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The city's previous residency requirement dictating that general employees had to live in Washington County was overruled by a state law in 1995.

Some council members disagree with the new state law.

Metzner said he'd prefer a residency requirement that stipulates that city employees must live within a certain radius of Hagerstown, not necessarily in Washington County.

City officials intend to follow state law, but don't want to approve a resolution that simply acknowledges a the state law, Metzner said.

Council members will consult with the city attorney about potential legal problems they might face if they don't approve the resolution, he said.

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