Early retirement for Augusta city workers discussed

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The pot could be sweetened to encourage Augusta-Richmond County employees to take early retirement, potentially saving taxpayers an estimated $2 million.

A committee of Augusta commissioners discussed the proposal Monday. It failed to move out of committee, but it will be brought back once commissioners' concerns are adequately addressed.

Director of Human Resources Rod Powell said an early retirement incentive program could reduce the costs of running the city's government while making it more attractive for employees who are close to retirement.

As it was presented Monday, the incentive plan would apply to workers who are at least 60 years old with a minimum of 20 years' service. Mr. Powell said 109 employees would be eligible for early retirement under those provisions.

The incentives for them to retire early include credit for an additional five years of service and up to six months of unused sick leave, he told commissioners.

The city in turn could also reap the benefits, Mr. Powell said. Their vacated positions would either be eliminated, left unfilled for a year, consolidated with other positions or filled with new employees paid at the starting level.

He said early retirement is a more popular move than layoffs.

Commissioners, however, took no action Monday. Among their concerns was how employees in the fire department and sheriff's office would be affected by an early retirement plan. Employees in those departments are eligible to retire at age 55.

"I can tell you there are people anxiously waiting to see if this passes," Mr. Powell said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

ONLINE EXTRA

Take a look at county employee salaries in our online salary database.

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dickworth1
954
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dickworth1 07/14/09 - 07:04 am
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Maybe fred russell and the
Unpublished

Maybe fred russell and the commissioners should take early retirement! This would save taxpayers a large amount of money
just stopping the wasteful spending on a new courthouse so our
highly paid judges can have a better offfice. I wonder if the taxpayers would agree to purchase me another house, I am
tired of my current home although it is nothing wrong with it!

ladyjanegrey
0
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ladyjanegrey 07/14/09 - 08:42 am
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If there are 109 positions

If there are 109 positions that can be eliminated..then just do it.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 07/14/09 - 09:09 am
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When was the first time the

When was the first time the City promised to eliminate positions with early retirement and then followed through. This is a scam to all of us taxpayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

noway
201
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noway 07/14/09 - 11:22 am
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Maybe make early retirement

Maybe make early retirement mandatory...

marien
28
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marien 07/14/09 - 11:48 am
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I hope that this has been

I hope that this has been carefully work through, my husband is 49 and has worked for the city for 31years he is too young to retire, but have the years of service. If this is not going to save money for the city and hurt the employees I say keep working.

Jim-bob
1
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Jim-bob 07/14/09 - 12:39 pm
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Make Betty Beard retire.

Make Betty Beard retire.

Lumbarsupport
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Lumbarsupport 07/14/09 - 08:25 pm
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An obvious plan to ensure

An obvious plan to ensure that Scott continues his meteoric climb up the ladder. Have you no shame?

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