The city of Leavenworth has enacted a residency requirement for department directors.

The city of Leavenworth has enacted a residency requirement for department directors.

The new rule requires future employees who are hired as department leaders to live within city limits. But, the policy change does not require current employees to move to the city.

Leavenworth's city manager and assistant city manager already were required to live in the city.

The Leavenworth City Commission approved the new residency requirement Tuesday with a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Davis Moulden voted against.

"I'm not in favor of requiring people to live anywhere just because they work for the city," Moulden said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger, who proposed the new requirement, noted the change will apply only to department directors.

Revisions were made to the City Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual to enact the new requirement. One of the revisions lists the department head positions that are affected.

Preisinger asked if there are additional positions that currently aren't filled that should be added to the list.

City Manager Scott Miller said the economic development administrator position is not a department supervisor, but commissioners could add it to the list.

"I don't have a problem with that," Miller said.

The economic development administrator position has been vacate since August 2013.

Miller later said commissioners also may want to consider including the Convention and Visitors Bureau director's position.

The Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce currently administers the Convention and Visitors Bureau for the city, and the CVB director is a Chamber employee.

Longtime CVB Director Connie Hachenberg is retiring later this year, and the city will take over administration of the program and hire the new director.

Miller said the CVB director's job won't really be a department head position because the director won't supervise people.

Commissioners decided to add the position of economic development administrator and CVB director to the list of department leaders.

"Do we have a problem with the system now?" Moulden asked before the vote.

He questioned why commissioners want to stir the pot.

Miller later said he had a problem with a former economic development administrator who lived in Missouri.

Commissioner Lisa Weakley said she didn't think there is problem within city government, and she would be willing to change the residency requirement to allow department heads to live in Leavenworth County.

She said many people enjoy living in the rural county.

"You can't get that within the city limits," she said.

Commissioner Larry Dedeke said members of the public he's heard from are inclined to feel that directors need to live in the city.

"They're not paid a shabby salary for a community this size," he said of department heads.

Moulden said the residency requirement will add another layer of bureaucracy.

The policy manual revisions that were approved will give new employees who are hired as department heads up to six months to move into the city. The city manager can grant an extension.

Department heads who already are working for the city but do not live within city limits won't be required to move.

However, if they choose to move in the future, they will be subject to the residency requirement.

Other current employees who don't live within the city would not have to move to be promoted to department head positions. But, if the employees move in the future, they would have to comply with the residency requirement to serve as department heads.