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    Posted January 3, 2014 by
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    Personal freedoms make more sense than just good money sense


    My wife and I take great pride in our “Milwaukee bungalow” located in the southwest area of the City of Milwaukee. One of the many reasons I love my neighborhood so much is because I lived a mere three doors down the street during my pre-teen and teenage years, about 50 years ago. The neighborhood has changed some over the years, of course, but it is very similar in many ways as well.


    My wife and I are both retired State of Wisconsin employees and even though we were not required to live in the City of Milwaukee, we still chose to buy our home in our very safe and stable “Jackson Park” neighborhood.


    We have owned our home for over 20 years and, again, take great pride in our home and the improvements we made over the years. Our children both gained M.P.S. educations at the Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School as well as at the Milwaukee School of Languages. Teachers in both schools were extremely knowledgeable, dedicated and professional. Our children both gained thorough educations in these Milwaukee Public Schools, were both even fluent in Spanish by the 8th grade and they continued their educations at U.W.M. or at Alverno College.


    My wife and I feel fortunate and are very grateful for our mostly pleasant and happy lives while living in the City of Milwaukee for decades.




    It is argued by Milwaukee residents and officials that if the residency requirements end for government employees, the feared negative impact would especially affect safer and more stable neighborhoods like the one my wife and I live in near Jackson Park. These outlining areas of the city have previously been, of course, magnets for government employees required to live in the city. All prospective city employees would be free to live anywhere and some will choose to live outside of the city.


    And most likely, if government employees are no longer restricted by a residency requirement, many current city employees certainly will choose to sell their City of Milwaukee homes and purchase their next homes outside of the city.




    In the past, I have considered entering the discussion about whether to lift City of Milwaukee residency requirements for city employees, but I usually do not claim to know what is best for anyone else but me.


    I do disagree, however, with other citizens or government officials who try to prevent and obstruct individual, personal freedoms of choice and action.


    And it does seem to me that this residency requirement has attempted to prevent and obstruct individual, personal freedoms of choice and action since inception. It does serve, of course, to restrict personal freedom of Milwaukee residents who live in the city the freedom to move out of it.


    I must therefore opinionate that the residency requirement is morally wrong for the reasons briefly cited above.


    I opinionate this even when I know lifting the residency requirement in Milwaukee may lower my property value temporarily, until the market reorganizes and recovers and increases again.


    In a worse-case scenario many, not several, homes in neighborhoods like the Jackson Park neighborhood will put on the market. But there will always be plenty of educated, upwardly mobile, peace-loving people who want a better neighborhood to enjoy and to raise their children in. Many good citizens living more central to the city will welcome the increased, quality home choices available to them in very safe, stable neighborhoods like our “Jackson Park” neighborhood. If the residency requirement ends, there will always still be an abundance of government and civilian employees like my wife and me who chose to purchase a home in the City of Milwaukee, even when we could have lived elsewhere.


    So after perhaps an initial period of property sales and purchases in the City of Milwaukee if the residency requirement ends, present homeowners and future homebuyers will again realize and will again remember, like my wife and I know and like many have known for decades. They will again realize and will again remember why we choose to live in the City of Milwaukee. Present and future homeowners will know where the “good” neighborhoods are. They will want to live where employment and entertainment and education are nearby and where there is public safety. Many homeowners will remain, some will leave, but many more good neighbors will arrive.




    Now my wife does disagree with me, as well as a majority of people living in my neighborhood and neighborhoods like mine would disagree with me. But that is fine since I would even like to read more discussions about this because all citizens have the personal freedom to write MJS as I did.


    They may be right and I may be wrong when it comes to the reality of personal worth lost. I, myself, do still believe, however, that personal freedoms of choice and action are much more important than money. Personal freedoms make more sense than just good money sense.

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