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Monday, December 03, 2007

Cleveland Police Union Chief: Praises Decision Ending City Worker Residency Rules

A note from the head of the Cleveland police union dropped into the The Daily Bellwether's e-mailbox. It has kudos for Judge Robert Gorman's ruling in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that declares Ohio lawmakers properly exercised their power to end municipal residency rules for city workers:

"My name is Detective Steve Loomis and I am the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association. Your article made its way to my desk, and I dare say the desks of Union Presidents across Ohio. I attempted to leave this message on the "comments page" of your web page to no avail. For what it is worth I was attempting to give you our perspective on this issue from Cleveland Police Officers.

"It is good to hear that Judge Gorman is held in such high regard. Ending this age of indentured service to the cities that we risk our lives to protect every day is long overdue. As Police Officers, I dare say, that by the very nature of our careers we do more to maintain and advance the quality of life for the residents, workers, and visitors to our cities than any locally elected or appointed public official could ever hope to.

"In Cleveland and Cincinnati, city workers make up less than 1% of the total population of the city. If local politicians are depending on less than 1% of their city residents to "stabilize" their city population and economy, they are absolutely inept in their jobs. They need to readdress the actual causes of the economic, residential, and business decline in their cities and not be hell bent on wasting sorely needed public resources fighting a State Law in which they have little hope of overturning. They should instead focus on using those funds to make their cities some place city workers want to live, play and raise their families in, and not some place they have to.

"Congratulations to the Members of FOP Lodge 6, and their President Kathy Harrell for the well deserved good news from Judge Gorman.

"Be Safe, and Merry Christmas from the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association."

Thanks for the note, Steve. And all you cops be safe, too. You look out for the rest of us all the time.


  1. Last time I looked the City of Cleveland had more than 7,000 employees. That's at least 1.5% of the city's total population. Assuming the majority of those employees have spouses and kids, it's a reasonable guess that city workers' households contain 15,000 to 20,000 residents, which would be 3% to 4% of the city's population.

  2. Hi Bill --

    I suppose the real issue in all of this is: Why don't most people want to live in Ohio's large cities at this moment in time? I think it is because the schools are considered better elsewhere; also race, taxes, safety and crime, access to shopping, parking, roads, cleaniness and tidiness, questions about how services are delivered, an overall comfort level.

    I'm not knocking any city, or city living. Indeed, I enjoy the city (Cincinnati) and am fond of some of its neighborhoods and spend a good deal of time in them. Others are the pits. But I don't know that it is fair to make somebody live someplace by law or regulation. Seems like a bit of an infringement on personal liberty.

    Somehow, we have to, as a society, decide that we want our cities to be healthy and thriving and places where people want to live, not be forced to live. We also have to decide that our small, rural towns need to be healthy, too. Many of them seem to be in worse condition than the big cities -- though their situation doesn't get much attention or discussion.