GLOVERSVILLE — In an attempt to expand the potential pool of available candidates, the Common Council voted 6-1 last Tuesday night for a new local law amending the city charter to expand the required residency area for nine appointed city officers to include all of Fulton County and the four counties which border it, Saratoga, Montgomery, Hamilton and Herkimer.
Mayor Vince DeSantis said it is becoming harder for the city to find qualified candidates for important appointed city officer jobs.
“We want to make sure we get the best people, and so we’ve expanded the area within which people can live, within commuting distance [of Gloversville],” DeSantis said.
The move to expand the number of potential choices for city officer positions comes at time when an apparent labor shortage has affected the hiring of many public and private sector jobs in Fulton County. The New York state Dept. of Labor’s most recent unemployment report showed Fulton County had a 4.2% unemployment rate in August, down 1.1% year-over-year from August 2021 when Fulton County’s unemployment rate was 5.3%.
The report showed 21,500 people in Fulton County were employed in August, up about 600 employed people from August 2021 when there were 20,900 employed people.
Gloversville’s charter change was approved following a public hearing last Tuesday night, held in accordance with New York state’s Municipal Home Rule Law, which allows local governments to change the city charter qualifications of its appointed officers by local law without a referendum.
The residency requirement change effects nine appointed city officer jobs: City Assessor, City Clerk-Deputy Health Registrar, Deputy City Clerk-Health Registrar, Commissioner of Finance, Deputy Commissioner of Finance, City Attorney, Mobility Manager, Dept. of Public Works Director and the recently created Human Resources Manager position.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio voted against changing the charter. She said she disagrees with the premise that the city needs to allow potential city officials to live outside the borders of Fulton County in order to attract a good candidate pool for the positions.
“I’d rather we hire people from here, or they can come here to live, to build the community,” Anadio said.
The local law change leaves in place the existing residency requirement that all of the city’s appointed unpaid board and commission positions must be residents of Fulton County.