As Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pursues her goal of attracting 10,000 families to Baltimore over a decade, she might consider launching a recruiting drive down at City Hall.
More than 40 percent of municipal workers reside outside the city they serve, and 5 percent don’t even live in Maryland, according to statistics posted on a city website. Baltimore County is home to about a quarter of the workforce of 14,559 city workers.
The figures reflect residency as of Dec. 1, according to the city’s OpenBaltimore website. Kaliope Parthemos, formerly deputy mayor and now deputy chief of economic and neighborhood development, says she recently moved to the city from Baltimore County.
Mayoral spokesman Ryan O’Doherty said he had concerns about the data’s accuracy, including state residency figures, but gave few details.
Here are some other nuggets The Baltimore Sun found in the numbers:
-- The only two counties that have no city workers in residence are Kent (surprisingly, given its proximity to Baltimore) and St. Mary’s. One employee is listed as living in Garrett, the state’s westernmost county, and three in ocean-fronting Worcester County, home to Ocean City.
-- Nearly one in 10 of the Police Department’s 3,459 employees lives across the state line, but fewer than 30 percent live inside city limits.
-- Among the Fire Department’s 1,702 employees, 11 percent live outside Maryland and just over a third reside in Baltimore City.
The chart has two different categories marked “mayor’s office,” with a total of 111 employees. It shows that 65 staffers, or 59 percent, are city dwellers. Sixteen live out of state, 21 in Baltimore County and four in Anne Arundel. The rest are scattered among Carroll, Harford, Montgomery and Prince George’s.
Because the list doesn’t include job titles, it’s impossible to tell who lives where. O’Doherty said some information “appears to be incorrect” and several positions labeled mayor’s office are “not actually Mayoralty budgeted positions” but may fall under the inspector general, CitiStat and criminal justice office.
Unlike Baltimore, Philadelphia requires members of both its blue and white collar unions to reside within municipal borders. While Philadelphia police officers recently won the right to live outside the city, they still can’t move over the Pennsylvania line to, say, Maryland or the Jersey Shore.
Maryland law prohibits the city and counties from imposing residency requirements. But for some job openings, Baltimore gives extra points to applicants who live in the city.
Last year Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III announced the Hometown Heroes Project, a campaign aimed at boosting recruits from Baltimore. The department has long faced criticism because many officers live in the suburbs or in southern Pennsylvania.
“We are not encouraged by the results so far,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday. So, he said, the department has reinstituted a cadet program in which 18-year-olds work in various capacities with the goal of having them enter the police academy after age 21.
Guglielmi said the department pitches the city as a good place to live, and recent recruits from New York and New Jersey have opted to live in Baltimore. “Hopefully they’re going to stay here a long time and establish roots here, but we realize you can’t force people to live anywhere,” he said.
Rick Hoffman, president of the firefighters union, said he moved out to Carroll County for the same reason lots of people leave the city: He wanted to raise his three sons in an area with abundant land and quality public schools. Now that they’re grown, he has moved back to Baltimore.
“I don’t think I can begrudge anybody for where they want to live,” he said. “If someone wants to live in the city, fantastic. If someone wants to live in Howard County, who am I to judge that?”