Booneville board adopts policy requiring employee residency

Daily Journal report

BOONEVILLE – Although it has been a verbal understanding for years here, there has been no way to enforce a policy requiring fire and police personnel to live within the city limits until now.

On Tuesday, the Booneville Board of Aldermen adopted an ordinance effective immediately that requires municipal department heads and members of the police and fire departments to become permanent residents within one year of their employment dates. These employees must remain residents during the duration of their jobs.

Mayor Wayne Michael brought the issue up at the Feb. 18 board meeting and asked aldermen to consider placing the requirement in the minutes for enforcement purposes.

“We have been telling people for years that they had to move to Booneville but it wasn't in the minutes,” Michael said.

The superintendent of the water department and the superintendent of the gas department are included in the ordinance as department heads.

In other action, the board voted to terminate two police officers. The action had been requested at the Feb. 18 board meeting by police department liaison Trent Johnson and the officers were given two weeks to submit their resignation or face termination.

Michael said the board plans to interview five finalists for the police chief's post on March 17. The board interviewed 13 candidates Monday before winnowing the field to five.