Many local municipalities require that their employees be residents of their town or city. As taxpayer-supported positions, officials argue, these employees should have a vested interest in the communities they serve.
But while these rules are on the books, they aren't often enforced. This year marks the first year Amherst has actually terminated any employee for the offense, under new pressure from the Town Board.
Some local governments are reluctant to invest the time and money necessary to track down offenders who might otherwise be doing a good job at work, but happen to sleep in another town.
That leaves many to wonder whether residency rules are worth the paper they're written on.
--- Sandra Tan