Little Rock director proposes residency requirement

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If you want a new job working for the City of Little Rock, soon you might be required to live within city limits. City Director Erma Hendrix is pushing for a residency requirement for all new city employees.

Tuesday afternoon, the Little Rock Board of Directors decided to put the ordinance proposal on next Tuesday’s agenda.

Under the proposal, current employees would be grandfathered in and not have to move. New hires would have ninety days to comply. Right now, the police department is hiring new officers thanks to the penny sales tax increase that went into effect in January. The fire department will also expand with a new station in west Little Rock.

City Director Ken Richardson thinks the concept is a wonderful idea because he says it would help the under and unemployed in Little Rock.

“The City campaigned with the sales tax increase on safer neighborhoods and more jobs. Obviously, I think a lot of people voted for that because they thought those jobs would be filled by City of Little Rock residents. So, I think that we can’t continue that practice of subsidizing all these outlying communities, and I think we need to figure out some kind of way to make sure those dollars stay here,” says Richardson.

More than half of Little Rock’s police and firefighters live outside of the city.

You can voice your opinion at next Tuesday’s Little Rock Board of Directors meeting before directors vote on the ordinance. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

If approved, the ordinance would go into effect right away, as it contains an emergency clause.

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