I have no doubt that the proponents of the residency requirement for Springfield city employees are well-intentioned and believe that this measure will benefit the city from various additional sources of income. However, how much meaningful profit from increased wealth will Springfield actually gain when this is weighed against all other factors? Has a scientific study been conducted? Anyway, should a negligible monetary gain trump all other matters? If having more homeowners means better times for Springfield, does it imply worse times for other places whose citizens would be forced to move? Should nearby communities retaliate against Springfield residents who work for these local governments?
What of the additional costs Springfield will incur from more children attending its schools and from having to provide other public and social services? For those who state that, if the city of Springfield is good enough to provide one’s salary, it ought to be good enough for that worker’s domicile, is this mentality intended as a reward or punishment for law-abiding people who will become your fellow citizens? Is their freedom of choice for residence another consideration to be lightly regarded or ignored in favor of perceived economic gain? What of the tribulations of those forced to undergo all sorts of problems by relocating (ranging from selling one’s home in a troublesome market, uprooting, and finding a suitable replacement to other well-publicized difficulties of life that people wish to avoid in a big city)?
Should we have Pepsi, Ford, etc. (name the business) mandate that their workers be terminated unless they purchase only their company’s product since that is from where the salary is derived? Why should our nation not require that Americans vacation solely in our land and buy only domestically made products in order to increase national revenue? There is a bigger picture and this is the extent (a slippery slope) to which an enforced residency requirement for city employees could lead.
Public officials should try to gain willing tax-paying residents by working to upgrade any problem areas in the city and growing in a positive way – not by using a mandate that will be distastefully harsh to everyone for whom it applies and causes ripples of negativity. If Springfield cannot attract people because of its own worth, the answer is not to do so by tampering with an important freedom. The residency requirement seems so unfair and un-American to me.