6 Of 36 County Employees Accept Early Retirement

BERLIN – Six local
government and county utility employees will take advantage of Worcester
County’s early retirement incentive this summer, freeing up county funding in
another tight budget year.         

The county will lose one
employee from the Solid Waste Department, one from the Roads Department, one
from Water and Wastewater, one from Development Review and Permitting and two
from the county jail.

That group includes
senior managers George Dix, county solid waste supervisor, and Merrill Lockfaw,
county roads supervisor, as well as a crew leader from water and wastewater, a
cook from the jail and two office assistants.

According to Worcester
County Public Information Officer Kim Moses, no savings estimate is available
yet on the six staff vacancies because some retirees occupied essential
positions and will be filled internally.

The Worcester County
Commissioners unanimously approved a second year of retirement incentives
during fiscal year 2011 budget deliberations this spring.

The retirement incentive
is not an early retirement offer, as has been reported, but a bonus for those
qualified employees who choose to retire sooner rather than later. County
employees must already be eligible for retirement to take advantage of the
commissioners’ offer.

like last year’s retirement proffer, the county retirement incentive was
offered to county government and utility employees, age 62 and over, who are
already vested in the state of Maryland government employee retirement fund.
Such employees who decide to retire, with their last day June 25, will receive
one third of their salary in a lump sum as an incentive.

The county offered the
incentive to 36 employees this year.

According to county Human
Resources Director George Bradley, who detailed the plans to the commissioners
in May, the retirement incentive will pay for itself in four to five months.

After that, Worcester
County will begin to save thousands of dollars on the cost of salaries and
associated benefits it will not have to pay out.

Worcester County offered
the same retirement incentive last year. Twelve employees took advantage of the
offer, with 11 positions eliminated altogether. One laid off employee was
rehired to fill one of the vacated positions.

Savings from retirees
taking the incentive last year totaled $300,000.