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Supervisors take ‘serious’ stand over residency requirements for Wayne County employees at meeting

Residency is one of those tricky issues that can easily trip-up elected officials as they work in rural communities to find qualified candidates to fill vacancies, or new roles.

The Wayne County Board of Supervisors has, for several years, held the view that those who earn a paycheck in their county, live there too. The Finger Lakes Times reports that the rule is tripping up the process for the supervisors to find viable candidates to work in the District Attorney’s office.

County Attorney Dan Connors confirmed that the rule has been ignored in the past. The Times reported that a resolution, which would have allowed DA Mike Calarco to hire a prosecutor with 10 years of courtroom experience, who currently lives outside Wayne County, was voted down in a surprise outcome.

The defeat came by a weighted vote of 601-454.

“My concern is with residency requirements,” said Marion Town Supervisor Jody Bender during the session. Connors said the Public Officers Law requires the district attorney to be a county resident. By extension, he said, that applies to any assistant DAs he employs, the Times reported.

“On and off there have been questions,” Board Chairman Ken Miller, of Palmyra said. “We should firm up our policy.”

Rick House, the County’s Administrator noted that if there was vocalized intent for the candidate to move to Wayne County – it might have gone differently.

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