Should the City`s CAO be Required to Live in the City?


Should the City’s CAO be Required to Live in the City?

The question as to whether the city’s CAO should be required tolive in Halifax as a condition of employments attracted two opposinggroups. The two sides support their argument using differentlyfounded premises. The paper will incline to the Toulmin model ofargument presentation. According to Purdue OWL (2014), the modelpresents each group’s claim, the data to support the claim and thewarrants that support the claim. In addition, it will lay insight onthe backing, the counterclaim and the rebuttal.

A Breakdown of Argument Analysis of Group 6

The group believes that the CAO of Halifax should not be required tolive in Halifax. The COA, Richard Butts has 25 years of experience asa senior manager and therefore, living without the premise cannotinterfere with his performance.

Besides, it is not a job requirement to have the CAO reside inHalifax permanently. An imposition requiring permanent residence maydeter qualified and talented candidates from applying for theposition if they prefer choosing their residences. The position ofthe CAO should be awarded to most qualified candidate regardless ofwhether they live in the province.

According to the outlined responsibilities of the CAO, it is not arequirement to be immediately present in the city in case of anemergency. Richard Butts has an efficient response plan that does notrequire his immediate presence. The city has a predeterminedemergency response plan in case of a major occurrence. He is nottherefore required to be within the jurisdiction around the clock.

Richard Butts travels every weekend to visit his wife who holds ahigh-level civil service position in Ontario. Since he foots thetravel expenses, the city does not incur extra costs. Furthermore,residing permanently in Halifax would require his wife to quit herposition to join him, or have Butts give up his position as the CAO. Butts has very strong family values. Enforcing a permanent residenceon him could result in unethical consequences to his family. Since healways returns to the city on Monday, then, his travel to Ontario isnot an impediment to his job.

Borrowing from other similar situations, the current president of IWKHealth Center, Tracy Kitch does not reside on the premises, and thetendency has not affected his performance. Also, the cost of denyingone his prefer residence might rob Halifax of future talentedexecutives. Butts has been on the job for four years and his absencefor a couple of days not every week has affected his performance inany way.

However, some people believe that the position involves a high degreeof association with the city and it would be meaningful to have theindividual reside in the city. Permanent residency would put them oncall in case of emergency. However, with the correct procedures onhow to act in case of emergency, the COA does not have to be in thecity around the clock.

Breakdown of Argument Analysis of Group 7

The group feels that the Halifax CAO should reside with the city.From the Haligonian Perspective, the best outcomes experienced by theresidents would be ideal if the CAO resided in the city. Butts,therefore, has not demonstrated a commitment to Halifax y residing inToronto. Living in another city is a source of unnecessarydistractions that are not part of the Halifax affairs. EthicalEgoism suggests that one should only be concerned with self-interest(Sexty, 2015). To the interest of Halifax, therefore, the CAO shouldreside in the city.

Also, the residents of Halifax do not gain from Butts weekendtravels. The Utilitarian ethics involves doing the greatest good forthe greatest number of people (Sexty, 2015). Therefore, allowing theCAO to reside elsewhere does not serve te best interest of thepeople.

Looking at other people-centered positions like the mayor or theposition of the prime minister, it would be unwise if they resideaway from their jurisdictions. If they have to reside within theirjurisdiction, then the CAO should reside in the city. Thecategorical imperative ethical analysis defines the universal rulethat applies to all situations (Sexty, 2015). In this context, theuniversal rule holds that the position of CAO should only be held ypeople residing in the city.

Also, allowing Butts the flexibility to travel only serves hisinterests. There is a possibility of a decreased performance anddiminished return on payment. The distributive justice ethicsinvolves the distribution of harms and goods among all the involvedindividuals (Sexty, 2015). The application of the rule does not servethe residents of the city in this context.

Also, Butts is not fulfilling his responsibilities by being in thecity only five days a week, and he has shown a preference for thepositions that are near Toronto than in Halifax. Therefore, he hasshown signs of serving self-interest. According to the virtue ethicstheory, an individual’s behavior is based on their character(Sexty, 2015). Therefore, preferring to go Toronto every week betrayshis interest.

The assumption in the claim is that for someone to be effective insuch a position, it should be a requirement that they are permanentresidents in the city. However, some believe that imposing apermanent residence on Butts risks the city of losing his expertise.It would be unfounded to believe that there is no individual capableof taking up Butts’ role should he vacate office.


The Toulmin model of argument gives the argument against having theCAO reside in the city an upper hand over the counter argument. Theevidence produced in the two arguments shows that it is unnecessaryto have the CAO reside in the city. Permanent residence would rob thecity of Butts’ talent. Moreover, since he has been effective whilestill travelling to Toronto, it is enough proof that his residencedoes not affect hi performance.

PurdueOWL. (2014). Organizing your argument. Retrieved from

Sexty,W. R. (2015). In Lomas C. (Ed.), Ethics,Responsibilities &amp Sustainability(Third Edition ed.). United States of America: McGraw-Hill RyersonLimited.