New residency rule would avoid Appleton moving fees

Gov. Scott Walker wants to prohibit municipalities around the state from imposing residency requirements on its workers and the ban took a step toward becoming law last week.walker

Appleton officials are watching the proposal closely after the dust-up over its new information technology director, Dean Fox. The city is set to pay Fox more than $20,000 in relocation fees to move less than 10 miles into city limits.

As first proposed, the residency ban would apply to all workers. The state’s Joint Committee on Finance deadlocked at 8-8 last week to strip the rule from the budget.

It did modify the proposal though, so that all police, fire or emergency personnel would still have to live 15 miles from the community’s boundaries.

“If it gets signed into law we included that as a provision so the city wouldn’t pay for the pack and move,” said Sandy Behnke, Appleton’s human resources director. “We’d also have to update our city code to reflect the new law.”

Like 127 other communities in Wisconsin, Appleton requires some employees to live within city limits.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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