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Legislation #: 090233 Introduction Date: 3/19/2009
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: 4/12/2009
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBER SHARP
Title: Amending Section 2-972, Code of Ordinances, entitled “Residence of employees” to establish an exception for persons who become City employees as a result of the City’s assumption of obligations formerly performed by the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
3/19/2009 Filed by the Clerk's office
3/19/2009 Referred to Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee
3/25/2009 Advance and Do Pass, Debate
3/26/2009 Assigned to Third Read Calendar
4/2/2009 Councilmember Sharp Move to Amend
4/2/2009 Councilmember Sharp Move to Advance
4/2/2009 Passed as Amended

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ORDINANCE NO. 090233, AS AMENDED

 

Amending Section 2-972, Code of Ordinances, entitled Residence of employees to establish an exception for persons who become City employees as a result of the Citys assumption of obligations formerly performed by the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust.

 

WHEREAS, the City is contemplating the assumption of the responsibility for providing ambulance services; and

 

WHEREAS, since 1979 ambulance services have been provided through the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust; and

WHEREAS, during many of those years actual service was provided by a private ambulance services provider; and

 

WHEREAS, throughout the evolution of the ambulance system in the City the paramedics, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, and other employees have remained a constant part of the workforce even as the actual provider changed; and

 

WHEREAS, there exists a national and area shortage of highly trained paramedics, emergency medical technicians and medical billing professionals, making the loss of any such difficult to replace employees a potential risk to the level of care now provided to persons within the City and to the systems financial viability; and

 

WHEREAS, maintenance of a residency requirement for City employees accomplishes several important things, including:

 

        Ensuring the Citys employees contribute to the Citys tax base;

        Addressing issues of unemployment in the City;

        Enhancing the quality of employee performance through greater personal knowledge of conditions and problems in the City;

        Enabling City employees to vote in City elections;

        Promoting a feeling of greater personal interest in the Citys progress;

        Encouraging participation in the communitys affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, a significant issue of fairness presents itself when persons become City employees not through their own choice but through the actions of the City exercising its discretion in modifying the way public services are provided; and

 

WHEREAS, establishment of a limited exception to the Citys residency requirement to allow persons who become City employees as a result of a change in public policy addressing how ambulance services will be provided to the people of the City allows the City to honor the goals accomplished by a residency requirement while recognizing the special circumstances of employees who transfer from MAST to City employment; and

 

WHEREAS, the desire to fairly treat new employees who transfer to the City from MAST is further undergirded by the current economic conditions which could force some employees to move and sell their homes at a time when housing costs are depressed; and

 

WHEREAS, the desire to fairly treat new employees who transfer to the City from MAST is also based on the recognition that current MAST employees have made choices for their families which include neighborhoods, schools, other family employment and similar decisions; and

 

WHEREAS, it is unfair to impose the Citys residency requirement on employees who did not choose to seek City employment but who are part of the emergency medical services system at a time when the City makes the decision to provide those services directly through the City; and

 

WHEREAS, as employees voluntarily choose to move their residence or as employees are replaced with new employees, the residency requirement will apply; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Section 2-972, Code of Ordinances, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 2-972. Residence of employees.

 

The following conditions regulating residence shall apply to all nonelected city employees:

 

(1) Employment preference. Preference for employment shall be given to residents of the city for all positions in the classified service.

 

(2) Applicants. Applicants for employment with the city, who are nonresidents at the time of appointment, shall establish residence inside the city limits within nine months after the date of appointment. In the discretion of the director of human resources, persons who, at the time the nine months expires, have entered into a contract to purchase a residence for their use and who are prepared to move in within a reasonable time not to exceed six months may be deemed to have met this requirement.

 

(3) Workplace exception. Any employee whose work is of such a nature that he spends 75 percent of his work time outside the city limits shall be exempted from this residence requirement.

 

(4) Residence defined. Residence is defined as the place where a person has his true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning. A person satisfies the residence requirement if a portion of the lot or the parcel of land on which his residence is located is within the city limits.

 

(5) Change of residency forfeiture. Any employee who has established a residence within the city limits and who subsequently moves his place of residence outside the city limits shall forfeit his position of employment with the city.

 

(6) Failure to comply forfeiture. Nonelected employees of the city failing to comply with the provisions of this section will be dismissed from the municipal service forthwith.

 

(7) Rules authorized. The director of human resources is authorized to promulgate rules on residence consistent with this ordinance, subject to City Manager approval.

 

(8) Limited application of definition. This ordinance defines residence for city employment purposes only.

 

(9) Involuntary transfer of employment MAST - exception. Should the City modify the method by which ambulance services are provided resulting in the transfer of MAST employees to the City to perform the functions provided by MAST at the time of the transfer, MAST employees living outside the City at that time may continue their residency at the location outside the City. Should the employee voluntarily move his or her residence after the date the employee becomes a City employee, the employee shall comply with the requirements of this section.

 

________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

_____________________________

William Geary

Assistant City Attorney