Borough Council voted unanimously to amend parts of the administrative code Monday to bring it into compliance with state and federal law.
The amendments will also reflect current administrative and legislative practices within the borough, according to the agenda.
The amendments were first brought to council June 9.
The amendments update parts H and J of the administrative code, which deal with municipal departments and the personnel system, respectively.
Members of the borough as well as council members felt that requiring certain department heads, including the position of borough manager, police chief and fire chief, to be residents of the borough was vital.
Dave Stone, of Foster Avenue, said if department heads didn’t live in the borough, there could be a conflict between what’s happening in the borough and wanting to develop the area that individual lives in.
“If they were committed to the borough,” he said, “we would know where their interests lie.”
The residency requirement is a difficult issue, said Councilman Peter Morris, mainly because State College is an expensive place to live.
The council has always encouraged directors to live in the borough, said Borough Manager Tom Fountaine, but no one is looking to remove the requirement.
According to Council President Jim Rosenberger, the requirement could be waived by the borough manager in cases of extreme hardship, such as a lack of affordable housing. Under the current language, the individual has one year to become a resident within the hiring date.
A motion to retain the current resident requirement language passed unanimously.
The issue of borough employees engaging in political activity was also raised. According to Rosenberger, the ordinance does allow for employees to exercise their right to vote and participate in political activity, but not while on the job or by using his or her position for or against a particular candidate.
The board agreed unanimously not to change the language regarding employee political activity.
New language proposed removing personal days for part-time employees. Councilwoman Sarah Klinetob made a motion for those employees to be able to keep their personal days.
“Not everyone is looking for a full-time position,” she said. “If they’re holding more than one part-time job, the flexibility to work another day may not be an option.”
Currently, full-time employees are allowed three personal days a year, and part-time employees are allowed a day and a half.
The motion passed 6-1, with Cathy Dauler voting against.
In other business, the board approved the acquisition of 142 and 148 N. Barnard St. to initially provide for housing and parking in the West End. The property would later be available in connection with future community development or affordable housing.
Funds from the parking fund will be used in the acquisition, and will be reimbursed by a future borrowing.