The 10-mile residency requirement of the Civil Service statute, GL c. 31, Sec. 58, caused much concern over the past year. In Town of Rockland, the Commission required that the Appointing Authority examine its Fire Department roster to determine whether it was in compliance with the law; the Commission several months later heard evidence and determined that — at the time of the hearing — the Town was in compliance. The complaining officer appealed; arguing that the Commission should have examined whether the Town was in compliance as of the date of the complaint, and not as of the date of the hearing. The Court found that the Commission was correct.
Basically, the Commission, concerned with the wide-ranging impact of its decision, allowed several months for any compliance issues to be corrected. The Court ruled that the Commission has broad discretion as to what it investigates, and its thoughtful examination of the residency issue was the appropriate action.
To read the decision, click below: