"We have repeatedly heard from the S&WB that the utility is under-staffed in several critical areas ranging from meter readers to experienced engineers. Eliminating the residency requirement will give the S&WB more options and flexibility when filling the roughly 500 vacant positions," said Giarrusso who chairs the City Council's Public Works, Sanitation, and Environment Committee.
Employees of the NOPD, NOFD, and EMS are currently exempt from the residency requirement, which states that the city is to employ persons who have or will have an actual domicile in Orleans Parish within 180 days of employment. This policy change would add S&WB to the list of exempt agencies.
Giarrusso continued, "This committee will continue to work proactively with the S&WB to improve operations. While this is an immediate tool, we know the Sewerage and Water Board must be dedicated to implementing creative short, medium, and long-term solutions."
The ordinance will receive a public hearing at the August 20, 2018, Public Works Committee meeting before advancing to the full Council for a vote. If approved, the policy change will be effective on September 4, 2018, or 10 days after it passes.