Poll: Should City of Dallas Workers Live Here?

Would it make our local government operate any better than it does?

Should Dallas police officers have to live among those whom they serve and protect?
Should Dallas police officers have to live among those whom they serve and protect?

OK, so we’ve been over the numbers. Most city of Dallas workers aren’t also residents. This is especially true among cops and firefighters, and the middle class. So…what?


  • JohnG

    The headline and the poll ask significantly different questions. Does it matter? Of course – it matters if any people, city workers included, don’t want to live in Dallas. Easy yes on that one. But “should city workers live in Dallas?” that’s a different one – If I’m hiring I want the best people available for a given job regardless of where they live. Making the city more attractive to those people is a goal as well but a separate and distinct goal.

    • Bushwood Smithie

      My thoughts exactly — just stated much better. 🙂

    • Los_Politico

      You think we have “the best people available”? I personally don’t. And if I’m choosing between two [email protected] bean counting paper pushers I might as well give priority to the person who at least lives here and might give a crap about the 311 call in the neighborhood.

  • Johnyalamo

    I would like them to drive over the same speed bumps, witness the going ons of the same neighborhoods, have their children attend the same schools and pay the same taxes I do that go to manage these things and pay their salary. But if these people want to live in a crappy uniformly designed Mcmansion and spend their salary we citizens of Dallas provide for them on HOA’s, who am I to judge?

    • DelkusSleeves

      I know a couple Dallas Fire Fighters who dont live in the city, but they certainly dont live in Mcmansions or pay HOA fees (that is a terrible stereotype btw). They live about an hour outside of town though and they enjoy the slow life rather nicely. Also It was more affordable for them

  • AeroRazavi

    This may explain why transportation policy at City Hall is the way it is. Whether by design or accident, staff’s desire to get home as soon as possible from downtown may influence policy.

  • Chris

    your headline question needs to match the poll question.

  • Johnyalamo

    I know a lot of people that live in East Dallas, don’t live in Mcmansions, pay taxes, and enjoy the slow life rather nicely. Some of them are fire fighters.

  • Ted

    I think Groucho Marx already conducted this poll: should the citizens of Dallas be forced to rely on people actually willing to live there? There’s a similar one about jury duty.

    Here’s a thought: bring Google Fiber to Dallas instead of another patch of grass over a freeway and see if your data changes.

  • DelkusSleeves

    I’m sorry, you were throwing stereotypes out. Um, I don’t know of many houses on acreage with fishing ponds and dark clear nights out in East Dallas. Good for them, doesn’t mean the people I know, know less about Dallas just because they don’t live here

  • rauldallas

    The leadership should but other city employees should live wherever they want. There are many factors that go into where a person resides including family obligations, personal financial situations, location of the spouse’s work, etc.

  • Duane

    City officials? Yes. Police and firefighters? No.

    Police: Having an ability to live your private life without an increased likelihood of coming across someone you’ve had to deal with in the midst of committing a criminal act is a relatively modest expectation to have. (Note that I have a sibling that is a sheriff in one county and lives in the adjacent county. I’m certainly glad that he can go out and have a beer or take his kid to the community rec center with relative safety.)

    Firefighters: Who really cares if the person who puts out your grease fire lives in the adjacent town? If you’re so obsessed that the salaries that are made in Dallas are solely spent in Dallas, please only buy products manufactured in the city.

    And in reference to police/firefighters, for anyone who ever says,”We pay their salary” or “I pay taxes” and has any expectations of behavior related to that…Please reference this video (Safe for work): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PIvuPz_KJw

    Elected city officials? Yes, if you are going to actively change/decide policy and impart financial obligations on a populace as a whole…you should make yourself subject to those same provisions. We wouldn’t allow a Senator, Rep., President, etc. to live outside the U.S. and dictate policy. It is even more important on the micro scale of a city.

  • dallasboiler

    Is there any precedent for incentivizing city employees to also be residents by giving resident, city employees a property tax break as a result of their employment?

    In another city, I know that police officers were able to keep their squad cars at home if they lived within city limits. For some officers, that prevented the need for a car payment (or a 2nd car payment) and was a powerful incentive to live in the city vs. surrounding suburbs. Perhaps something similar could be done with property taxes to more broadly provide city employees an incentive to live in the city they serve.

  • Mike

    Yes, they should. If our income can be forcibly confiscated to pay them, they can be forced to live in the city that’s paying them, if they don’t like it they’re welcome to find another job.

  • Dubious Brother

    Just out of curiousity, how would this survey look for suburban towns? Do the police and fire fighters in Mesquite or Richardson lilve in their town of service or do they live in Dallas?

  • BrentDude

    Should people working at D Magazine be required to live in Dallas?

    • BradfordPearson

      For one thing, we cover more than just Dallas. Secondly, the entire edit staff does live in Dallas.

  • CSP

    If you want to dramatically reduce the pool of qualified applicants for any particular position, thereby reducing the overall quality of City Hall employees, then by all means require city residency for employment.

    Keep in mind that over 80% of those who live in all of DFW (the area I would think the City would be drawing all of its employees other than those at the highest level positions who might be recruited from around the country) do not live in Dallas proper. Do you really want to eliminate four out of five potentially qualified applicants?

  • Johnyalamo

    Taxes. I think that same line of thinking is what built Cowboys Stadium out in Arlington.

  • BrentDude

    Still didn’t answer the question.

  • Bethany

    Maybe this has something to do with it? If rent is cheaper elsewhere, you live where you can afford to.