Mayor Barrett working to fight proposed residency rules

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A decision on residency rules by the Joint Committee on Finance has Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other city leaders working to make sure the proposed rules don't become law.

The committee voted Thursday, May 9th, to allow police, firefighters and emergency workers to live 15 miles outside of the city where they work.

"We'll do everything we can to fight for this city, even with this frontal attack that occurred against MIlwaukee," said Barrett.

Others, like Mike Crivello of the Milwaukee Police Association, welcomed the committee's decision.

“There’s going to be opportunity for people who might otherwise not have applied in the city of Milwaukee,” said Crivello.

The proposed residency requirements were approved by the panel on a 12-4 party line vote, but local officials say it wasn't their decision to make.

"This is an issue we can deal with and this is totally contrary to the Republican virtues which is local control," said Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines.

Currently the city of Milwaukee requires workers to live within the city, but Thursday's vote could change that. Hines says the vote wasn't a compromise and took away the city's bargaining ability.

"They clearly gave police and fire something without an economic exchange and something we would have bargained for and were prepared to do so," said Hines.

Both Mayor Barrett and Alderman Hines believe the redistricting issue shouldn't be part of the budget. They say they're doing everything possible to prevent the decision from becoming law.

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