Retirement Incentive Nets 59 Takers
By Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - The signup window for the city's second retirement incentive program ended last Friday, with 59 of Clearwater's 182 retirement-eligible employees agreeing to leave this year in exchange for a one-time payment of $15,000.
56 city employees took advantage of last year's retirement incentive, resulting in $2-million in "permanent savings" according to Human Resources Director Joe Roseto. His hopes of retiring a similar number of employees with this year's program were met.
According to an e-mail sent by Roseto to City Manager Bill Horne, 10 supervisory/professional/management employees, 4 firefighters, 13 police officers/technicians and 32 clerical/administrative employees will soon be saying goodbye to Clearwater and their combined $3.1-million in annual salary.
While it will cost the city $885,000 to fund the incentive and an additional $1.46-million in payments for accrued vacation and sick time already earned, Roseto claimed that the city will realize permanent annual salary savings of about $2.15-million plus benefits as a result of the program.
Of the 59 positions being vacated, 25 will be permanently abolished, 2 will be downgraded and 32 will be backfilled with lower-salaried employees who might otherwise have lost their city employment.
Horne wrote, "it appears that this is another successful effort to reduce employee cost in the short and long run. Again, I want to reiterate that positions that are cut won't return under my watch because they will simply undermine the savings we expect to achieve in the long term."
The City Council will be asked at their next meeting to authorize the use of reserves for the incentive payout.
Return to Current Edition