At-Large Candidate Barney Wants Change to Residency Requirements, Problem Property Ordinance
City Council-at-Large candidate Peter Barney says he'd like to see the residency requirement for New Bedford Police and firefighters boosted to ten years.
Under current City ordinance, police and firefighters must live in the City for three years before moving into another community while still retaining their job. Barney says residency requirements are inherently more difficult to enforce with EMS personnel because of required certifications for the position. "You can't always find them in the city, so you end up granting waivers. I'm not a big fan of waivers, because I think we can do a lot better to try to find people locally," said Barney.
Barney says longer residency requirements encourage civil servants to build a life in the community they serve.
Barney would also like to see changes to the freshly passed Problem Property ordinance. Barney says he'd rather see four or five strikes against a landlord before fines are doled out, instead of the eight strikes the ordinance allows.
Barney also feels the ordinance is easily dodged by landlords, who can simply move problem tenants from one building to the next, avoiding fines. "They just shift the tenants from one property to another....And then the landlord decides to pay the fine and not worry about it. He decides it's going to be a cost of doing business and throws it that way. It's not the world's greatest solution."
Barney faces a field of nine other candidates vying for five seats in the November 3 election.