The city’s Department of Human Resources, meanwhile, questioned the rule’s effect on recruitment. It’s unfortunate that, among the points it made, the department noted the relative lack of college-educated adults in the city compared to the surrounding counties, as it reinforces the notion that Baltimore is a second-rate, unattractive place to live. But the recruitment issue is central to the debate over such rules in every city, and it’s not just a question of whether a qualified applicant for one of these positions would want to live where he or she works. People often have good reasons for living where they do and not wanting to move — a spouse’s job, child care, difficulty selling a house and so on. The legislation would allow a new hire to pledge to move into the city within six months before facing automatic termination. That’s pretty draconian. Philadelphia at least allows workers to apply for hardship exemptions.