Montgomery County hopes departures will ease tax burden

The retirement of as many as 32 Montgomery County employees could lead to as much as $1.8 million


The retirement of as many as 32 Montgomery County employees could lead to as much as $1.8 million in savings in 2011, a year county officials hope won’t begin with a double-digit tax increase.

The county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider two similar measures, one setting up an early retirement incentive and the other calling for some full-time department heads to retire and come back part time.

County officials have been considering a variety of measures aimed at preventing major property tax increases that would be unavoidable at present staffing levels.

With the exception of elected officials, the incentive would provide eligible full-time employees, who are eligible for two retirement packages through the New York state and local retirement system, another option, county Personnel Director Richard Baia said.

The program would provide cash incentives for retirement, ranging from $5,000 for 10 years of county service up to $12,000 for 25 years of county service.

Baia said the goal is to take advantage of possible retirements to help the county avoid job cuts.

“The more we get to take the incentive, the less we would have to lay off,” Baia said.

Another measure to be considered Tuesday targets longtime department heads, including Baia, who has 43 years of service.

The measure provides that retired employees may return as part-timers for half the salary they currently earn, or a salary that doesn’t exceed Social Security and state retirement benchmarks.

Department heads being considered for this incentive include Baia, county Probation Director Lucille Sitterly, who has 46 years of service, Emergency Management Director Gary Nestle, Community Services Director Jim Gumaer and a principal account clerk typist, according to the resolution.

Baia said counties statewide are exploring ways to cut costs in the face of the recession and shrinking state and federal assistance.

“All the counties are hurting. The federal government’s broke, the state’s broke,” Baia said.

If 32 people retire and department heads agree to come back part time, county personnel committee chairman Thomas DiMezza said the savings would be significant.

“We could save about a quarter million dollars a year. That’s a lot of money today, when we’re trying to save money. This would be a perfect time to do this,” DiMezza said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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