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The Metro Council is on its way to passing a rule that if you work for government, you must live in Davidson County. On its face, it's a reasonable proposition: If you take your earnings from our collective pool, you should at least live here to show allegiance. Besides, it's our money, so we get write the conditions on how it shall be received.
But having lived a good portion of my life in rotting cities, it also tends to be a dark sign. It pronounces that government no longer feels comfortable with a town's natural ability to attract and retain residents. So it must do so by force. Which brings us to today's thesis: The Coming Battle with Cops and Firefighters.
You'll find this fight in most cities that have had residency rules. Their school districts are dying. And cops and firefighters, courtesy of occupation, tend to see the worst in humanity. Which means they also tend to be the most reluctant to send their kids to failing schools.
But here's where the problem comes in. Cops and firefighters don't generally make a lot of money. They also generally breed beyond the 1.2 children prescribed by modern yuppie law. And for any good father, his first allegiance must be his children. So they either take second and third jobs to pay for private school, or flee to the outer boroughs where the education is better and free.
In other cities, residency rules have made for expensive cat and mouse games, pitting government against its employees. Workers will use apartments or the addresses of relatives to bypass the rule. The government, in turn, will discover widespread abuse, and begin spying on its own employees. Lawsuits, firings, and bad blood will spill.
The question: Is forced residency worth all that?