More from The Record:
The ruckus over residency continues. During a contentious meeting last week, the Troy Civil Service Commission, for the first time in nearly 12 years, addressed the residency issue. The three-member panel voted unanimously to remove seven police officers from the sergeant's list because they do not live in the city as is required for any officer hired after Dec. 22, 1995.
Throughout the session, commission members looked lost as they were peppered with questions from three of the officers who were removed. Actually, the only person who said anything on the commission's behalf was city Personnel Director Al Spain, and the North Greenbush resident isn't even on the commission.
The residency law has been on the books since 1995 and the Commission finally addresses the issue? What's the rush? They haven't even addressed President Arthur's Pendleton Act yet.
The real questions have yet to be answered. What gives the Civil Service Commission the authority to remove seven officers from the sergeant's list based on nothing but residency? That the question Officer Sean Kittle asked. It's a reasonable question to which there was no answer:
Officer Sean Kittle cited a letter written by Personnel Director Al Spain in which he said the commission was acting under a statute of state Civil Service Law. He read each of the eight subsections and at the end of asked the commission which one applied to them removing him from the list.While the three commissioners remained mainly silent through out the meeting, each time Kittle asked if that was the sub-section, Spain said the rationale is spelled out in the letter.
The letter cites the entire section but does not give a subsection and it appeared nobody on the commission could or wanted to clarify."I went through subsection by subsection and specifically asked which one applies because I don't want you to act outside your authority," Kittle said. "If you are compelled by some outside entity to get you to act, I ask you to look inside your heart to see if that is the kind of people you want to be." - The Record
Officer Kittle should do some research before he questions the Commission. The Commission, like other Troy governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities, receive their authority from the Sacred Tablets of Zuul (Zuul is the minion of Gozer). The tablets are stored in the Shrineatorium in City Hall. Only a select few are allowed to read and interpret the tablets. Any non-Gozerian who questions the interpretation of the tablets will be roasted in the depths of a giant Slor.
Do we really want geography determining who is elevated to a supervisory position? Kittle is a fine officer with a good reputation. He be a good sergeant, no matter where he resides and there are other examples. Captain Furillo lived outside whatever city he worked in and Barney Miller moved to Westchester (although Fish lived in Brooklyn).
The larger point has been missed. Why have these seven officers been singled and punished for violating the residency requirement? Can you violate the residency requirement as long as you don't seek promotion? Is that the new standard? Or, is this part of Tutunjian's war against the TPD? As usual, the Mayor would not comment. His Irrelevancy was busy sending letters to the San Francisco Giants.
How about the city's "leaders." Will the Mayor assure us that everyone in his administration is in compliance with the residency requirements. Especially new hires?
Scrap the requirement. It's silly, simple-minded and Troy got along fine without it until 1995.