Proposal Would Bring Back Department Head Local Residency Requirement

The Council Majority Leader, Ald. Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. (D-5) and Ald. Aram Ayalon (D-3) have introduced a proposal that would bring back the requirement that city department heads be residents of New Britain.

Ald. Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. (D-5) Frank Gerratana photo.

The proposed ordinance (local law) would reinstate the requirement that city department heads be or become residents of New Britain within one year after the conclusion of their hiring probationary period.

The ordinance would apply to the positions of, “fire chief, police chief, and any successor director of public works, director of support services, director of recreation and community services, finance director, director of economic development, director of health and building services, director of community development, director of human resources.”

The remaining city department head positions consist of elected officials and the city corporation counsel, who are already required to be New Britain residents.

Ald. Aram Ayalon. (D-3)
Frank Gerratana photo.

“It is important that department chairs live in New Britain where the people they serve reside,” said Ayalon. “I see no difference between them and the Police chief or the Fire chief – both are required to be New Britain residents.”

For all but the fire and police chiefs, the residency requirement in the proposal appears to apply only to future department heads.

The ordinance being proposed by Carlozzi and Ayalon would reverse changes to the city ordinances made by the 2015-2017 City Council that removed ordinance requirements that the heads of city departments live in New Britain.

In October of 2016, the then-Republican-dominated City Council exempted the Human Resources Director position from the residency requirement. The motion to approve that proposal was opposed by Carlozzi, as well as Ald. Emmanuel Sanchez (D-AL), who was then a Third Ward Council member.

Then, in February of 2017, the same City Council exempted every department head position, except the police chief, fire chief and public works director from the local residency requirement.

Carlozzi and Ayalon’s new proposed ordinance is on the agenda to be introduced at the April 11, 2018 City Council meeting.