A divided Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that city governments may not require their employees to live within city limits.
Zanesville is just one of the cities who’s laws will change because of it. Zanesville City Law Director Scott Hillis says in the past city workers were asked to live in city limits, but they did make some exceptions.
“No one that works for the city can be forced to live inside the city limit,” said Hillis. “We won’t need to pass special ordinances, allowing special permission for people.”
The court ruled five to two Wednesday that a 2006 law preventing local government residency requirements overrides the home rule powers of municipalities.
“A lot of cities put it on to protect themselves and to make sure the people running the city, running government, were actually residents of the city and therefore had an interest in how the city ran,” he said.
Attorneys for Akron, Lima and Cleveland had argued in January, oral arguments that the residency requirements help their tax base, maximize emergency services and make their workers more responsive to local concerns.
Hillis says he doesn’t see the change affecting cities.