By Sue Ellen Woodcock
For years there has been a residency requirement if you intend to work in city hall. If you don’t live in Revere at the time of hire you’d go before the city council and ask for a waiver.
Several people have done it, Reuben Cantor of the IT Department and Omar Boukili, of the Mayor’s Office.
But if you work in the School Department, the Police or Fire Departments there is no requirement. The entire issue puts the city in a tough spot.
Tab Bandit, of Saugus, came to the council for a residency waiver, for position of Public Safety Information Technology Professional. If he were to be hired before the start of the new fiscal year he would come under the city budget, but as of July 1 he would be an employee of the police department.
“Although he’s yards from the city line he doesn’t live here,” said Councillor Jessica Gianinno. “Our city wants Revere people.”
The council voted to table the residency waiver request for Bandit, essentially preventing him from getting the job.
Cantor explained that Bandit was their top choice out of six candidates for the job, which was advertised for two months.
“There was nobody even close to be able to go in ready to take the IT position,” Cantor said.
“I can’t believe we can’t find anybody in Revere,” said Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers took the bull by the horn and said “maybe this residency requirement should be eliminated. I know its not the popular thing but I didn’t get elected to be popular.”
He noted that 75 percent of the people working in the schools, police or fire live outside of the city.
“Maybe we have to look at this residency requirement,” Powers said.
Councillors with a historical perspective said it was the late Councillor William Bell who implemented the residency requirement. According to some councillors the thinking behind it was political.
“If re-elected I’m going to eliminate the requirement,” said Councillor Tony Zambuto, who added he has never voted against a waiver.
“I can’t understand why we even have a policy,” said Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna.