Murray city elected officials must be responsive to the needs of their constituents. We must listen thoughtfully, evaluate thoroughly, decide wisely and execute properly. Issues need to be carefully studied, and the public must be allowed complete access to the process of governing.

Murray city is a corporation and like any other business has the highest responsibility to the shareholders - our citizens. We must be forward-thinking and progressive in our employment practices. We live and work in a nation without boarders - a global marketplace. And, as with any large business, if we are to run an efficient, high-performing operation, we must attract the best management talent.This type of talent comes at a price, and the top-flight managers are often hard to find. This brings us to the delicate issue of having a residency requirement for all, or a select few, appointed department heads. I have listened carefully to Murray residents over the past several weeks, and clearly, there are strong and mixed feelings on the residency issue. Indeed, there are very intelligent opinions on both sides.

Speaking from the heart, I would love to have all of our department heads live in Murray. However, from a business standpoint, it may prove poor form to attach a condition of residency to an offer of employment. The problems that may arise from such a demand could have far-reaching, negative consequences for Murray.

By imposing this residency requirement on a prospective employee, Murray may lose the best candidate for the job. Does it really matter where someone lives? They should be free to pursue their professional interests regardless of address.

It is paramount that from this day forward, all of Murray's elected and appointed officials unite and work toward building a cohesive, functional and effective team that will lead Murray into the 21st century. The citizens of Murray rightfully demand - and richly deserve - the best government we can deliver. We all must respect and honor the citizens' decision on this matter. Personally, I do not favor the residency requirement. In the long term, it is likely not in Murray's overall best interest.

John C. Rush

City councilman, District #4