Milwaukee's Mayor says he'd let workers live outside the city

Jon Byman

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee's Mayor says he'd let workers live outside the city

By Jon Byman. CREATED May 9, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has consistently argued that city workers need to live in the city.

Now, the mayor says he's willing to workers move out of the city for a price.

"We want to monetize it," Mayor Barrett said.

The issue has come up as part of the contract negotiation with the union that represents Milwaukee Police supervisors.

"If we put a value on that I think that will achieve the goal of someone who for whatever reason, if they're married to someone who has a job that prevents them from doing it or if they absolutely have to live near horses or something like that, that they will make the conscious decision that they will give up something in exchange for moving out of the city."

The mayor argues that city workers should share in their cost by paying city taxes.

Barrett won't say how much he thinks workers should have to pay in order to move out of the city.

The willingness to relax the rules now through the union collective bargaining process comes as state lawmakers consider getting rid of residency rules in the state.  That would mean Milwaukee's workers would be able to live outside the city for free.