Village nixes residency requirement
LAKE PLACID – Village employees will no longer have to be residents of the village.
The village board repealed its residency law Monday night after holding a hearing that drew no public comments.
“This may be the shortest public hearing in history,” Mayor Craig Randall said as he closed the hearing.
Trustee Jason Leon was the only one to vote against the law repealing the old law. He said it would have been less efficient, but he would have preferred to put in place a new requirement that at least key department heads have to live in the village before the old restriction was lifted.
Leon said he supports the idea of being able to hire people from outside the village for lower-level positions.
Randall said it would have been interesting to know what motivated the old residency requirement. He noted that it went into effect in 1982, two years after the last Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, when day-to-day life here was dramatically different.
“Think how many vacation homes have been added since 1982,” said Trustee Art Devlin.
Trustee Scott Monroe asked if it would be possible to make the new law effective immediately, but village Attorney Janet Bliss said it can’t legally go into effect until it’s been filed with the secretary of state’s office.
That became a problem later when village officials wanted to hire someone who lives in the area of Old Mountain Road. Devlin said the old residency law that they repealed allowed an employee six months to move into the village, so the hire would not technically violate the law.
Several village positions, like the clerk, treasurer, trustees and the mayor, have to be village residents under state law. Some of the village’s collective bargaining contracts also have residency requirements. All of those would still be in effect.