Given Sen. Barbara Mikulski's avowal that she is ''sensitive to the principle of home rule and the District's desire to run its own affairs,'' I was extremely disappointed to read her article calling for residency preference in the hiring of District employees {"A Residency Preference Works Better," Close to Home, Sept. 27}.

It seems difficult to reconcile her declaration of sensitivity with the fact that I called publicly in the same forum {Close to Home, June 7} for exactly such a residential preference system for District employees and in my piece referred to legislation (Bill 7-44), introduced on Jan. 6, 1987, by council member Hilda Mason and cosponsored by Chairman David Clarke, council member John Ray and me.

In addition, as our legislative calendar indicates, council member Betty Ann Kane has scheduled oversight hearings on the issue for Oct. 8.

The tenor of Sen. Mikulski's piece is that the District officials have neither considered the prob-lem nor come up with a solution and must be instructed by our congressional ''betters'' on how to run our city.

When, as the senator states, ''the interests and concerns of the two {federal and District government} overlap,'' I would hope that concerned federal officials, such as Sen. Mikulski, would be knowledgeable and up to date on District steps to resolve problems before they exercise such uncalled-for chastisement.

James E. Nathanson is a D.C. Council member from Ward 3.