Mayor Luttrell in Favor Of Axing Residency Requirement

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(Memphis) Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says it's time to throw out the residency requirement.

That rule could make some Memphis City Schools employees move to the county or lose their job once city and county .

“Your objective should be getting the best person for the job.  Whether they live in Tipton County or Shelby County should be secondary,” said Luttrell.

That's music to the ears of MCS employees living in surrounding areas who will become Shelby County employees when the schools merge this summer.

Under the current county residency policy, they will lose their jobs if they don`t move.

Mayor Luttrell and many commissioners support an ordinance giving MCS employees a five-year grace period to move to Shelby County and grandfather current teachers in.

Luttrell says he even supports doing away with the residency requirement, but to do that voters would have to approve changing the charter, “I do think it's worthy of review by the voters. I really do, when you consider the demands that we have in this community for talent and expertise."

Mayor Luttrell says he knows first hand how difficult it can be to find good workers when you have a limited pool of potential employees.

He says when he was sheriff he sometimes had a hard time finding the right qualified person for the right job, “Sometimes we found ourselves really stretching to find qualified people for some of the positions that we had in law enforcement which is becoming increasingly technical."

A county commission committee shot down the idea yesterday, but Luttrell says there's still a chance when it goes before the full commission.