Thursday, February 18, 2010

Residency Requirements: A Good Thing?

The brochure outlining the position for GCSD's next Superintendent states:

"It is preferred that the superintendent live in the school district."

Should this be a requirement? What about requiring that he/she send any school-aged children to GCSD schools? Can we force the issue?


Anonymous said...

Absolutely! The supt should live in town and be required to send his kids to Greece schools. Too bad we can't require the same for all of our wonderful teachers. If we could, results would surge.

Anonymous said...

But they cannot require this unless it is in our policy. Otherwise it could be seen as discrimination.
If it was in the policy using other districts as precedents then they could require residency.
But yes it would be a very good idea for the superintendent to be a resident. And if the kids were school age they should go to our schools. Same goes for the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Residency requirements are tricky.
Not referring just to the super but to all kinds of jobs (like police teaching, fire etc) Say a teacher already has a home somewhere else in the area, should they be compelled to sell it? What if in today's market that mean a huge loss? What if his/her parter works somewhere that would make it difficult to move. Just to name two.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is just a discussion of wishes.
NY State legislated this back around 1970, residency cannot be a consideration in hiring or retaining a job.

Anonymous said...

Residency can be required for the Superintendent. Districts do it all the time. In fact, there are Commissioner's decisions upholding termination of Superintendents who failed to establish residency in the district when required by their contract in the timeframe specified.
Requiring them to send their children is a whole 'nother matter. Boards can dictate to the employee -- but I do not think they can compel them to do something with their children.

Anonymous said...

And here is one such decision (edited for length):

Appeal of DANIEL T. CONNOR from action of the Board of Education of the Eastport-South Manor Central School District regarding a superintendent’s contract.

Decision No. 15,809

(August 6, 2008)

Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., attorneys for petitioner, Kristine Amodeo Lanchantin and Kathy Ann Wolverton, Esqs., of counsel

Guercio & Guercio, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Raymond G. Keenan, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the decision of the Board of Education of the Eastport-South Manor Central School District (“respondent”) terminating his employment. The appeal must be dismissed.

In June 2007, the parties entered into a three-year employment contract (“the contract”). The contract contains this provision:

Superintendent Residency

The Superintendent must permanently reside at his primary residence in Suffolk County. In the event that the Superintendent does not reside in Suffolk County at any time, the entire contract will be deemed null and void.

After entering into the contract, petitioner entered into a one-year lease for an apartment within Suffolk County. His family remained upstate. He lived in Suffolk County during the week, but traveled most weekends to upstate New York to be with his family at his home in Saratoga County.

By letter dated December 7, 2007, respondent notified petitioner that he had violated the contract by failing to establish Suffolk County as his permanent primary residence. The letter further indicated that respondent intended to adopt a resolution at its meeting on December 12, 2007, declaring the contract null and void and terminating petitioner’s employment, effective immediately. Petitioner was asked to provide respondent prior to the meeting with any information that would cause the Board to reconsider its decision. Petitioner was suspended with pay pending the meeting and was directed to remain off school premises.

By letter dated December 13, 2007, respondent notified petitioner that, upon reconsideration of the information concerning petitioner’s residence, respondent affirmed its prior decision, deemed the contract null and void and terminated his employment immediately. This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on January 10, 2008.

At the time of the interview process, petitioner lived upstate with his family in Gloversville, New York. It is clear from the record that respondent did not want to employ a “commuter superintendent” and had concerns given that petitioner lived upstate with his family. Petitioner alleviated those concerns by indicating a willingness to relocate with his family to respondent’s district and respondent offered him the position. However, prior to entering into the contract, petitioner sold his home in Gloversville and purchased a home in Saratoga County. Petitioner’s family circumstances changed and his family did not relocate with him to respondent’s district. Instead, petitioner commuted most weekends to his home in Saratoga County. Because petitioner essentially only lived in an apartment in Suffolk County during the traditional work week and then returned to his house and family in Saratoga County on most weekends, I find it was not arbitrary or capricious for the board to conclude that he did not satisfy the qualification of employment contained within the contract.



SCATS said...

To 12:34PM ~~ In the situations you give, if they didn't want to move, they shouldn't have applied for the job, DUH.

To 2:38PM ~~ Thank you for finding & posting that. Given that case, I think our BOE should put more teeth into the language they are using. "Preferred" is rather wimpy and doesn't convey that we really want someone to make the commitment.

Anonymous said...

SCATS: I agree. The board needs to firmly outline what their expectations are. "Preferred" will attract more applicants, but if the board really means "Required" then they need to be up front about that. There would be nothing worse than to have a top quality candidate who just can't or doesn't want to move into Greece Central and finds out, after the fact, that it's an "implicit expectation".

Anonymous said...

Scats - just learned (probably old news to you) that Dr. John Rivers has resigned, effective June 30th.His staff must be feeling relief!

SCATS said...

To 8:45PM ~~ I heard a rumor to that effect. Once again, the rumor appears to be true. Thanks for the info ;)