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Residency Mandate Repealed

By Richard M. Burnes

Cambridge city employees are no longer required to be city residents.

On Monday, the City Council finalized a resolution repealing an 18-month-old law requiring those on the city payroll to live within Cambridge.

The action followed a contentious hour-long debate on the issue a week earlier, which ended in a 5-4 vote to repeal the residency requirement.

Councillors supporting the measure felt the requirement was a piece of unnecessary regulation.

"We shouldn't make laws about where people sleep," said Vice Mayor Kathleen L. Born, who sponsored the measure.

Born argued that a policy which gives preference to Cantabrigians is preferable to a more rigid residency requirement.

But Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, who sponsored the original residency requirement, argued that a mere preference policy was not strong enough.

"We should give an absolute priority to those who live and pay taxes in the city," Toomey said. "People will take a greater commitment to their job if they live in the city."

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