Police Chief Ken Greenslate said he was asking the city to
consider offering an early retirement option to the assistant chief,
which would go to other qualified city employees as well.
In the early retirement offer, the city would issue a letter to
employees who are between the ages of 50 and 55 years of age. The
letter would advise these employees that they are may be eligible
for early retirement if they so choose.
Under the current retirement program for city employees, the city
pays a portion of their health insurance between the age they retire
and the age they are eligible for Medicare benefits, providing they
are 55 years of age or older at the time of retirement.
With the early retirement offer, the city would agree to start
paying 50 percent of the health insurance costs of the retiree
starting at an earlier age, no younger than 50-years-old.
Greenslate said Geriets had come to him and asked that the question
be brought to the council. He added that Geriets had expressed that
he was ready to move on and do something new. He has 25 years with
the force and can retire with a pension.
Greenslate said he had someone in mind as a replacement. If that is
the chosen person, the city will save a gross of $17,000 in the
first year. If they approve paying Geriets health insurance, that
amount will come in at just under $5,000, so the city will still
gain $12,000 by allowing Geriets request.
In order to offer this to one city employee, the city must offer it
to all city employees. A quick survey was done among department
heads. Fire chief Mark Miller said he had one who might consider
this. Greenslate said he had two who would be eligible. And, Walt
Landers of the Street Department said none of his employees would be
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There was a question to Greenslate regarding the estimated
savings. It is assumed the new assistant chief would be hired in
at a wage similar to the existing assistant chief. Where the
savings would come from?
Greenslate explained the officer he has in mind is currently
with the city, and working under the standard union contract.
Considering his hourly wage as set by the union plus overtime
earned, this person currently makes more money than either the
chief or assistant chief.
He said, if the city does match Geriets' salary for a new
assistant chief, which doesn’t typically happen, this is what
the city would be saving. He said this would be considered the
savings for a lateral hire. If the city added a new hire for
this position, there would be additional savings.
With only a few minutes of discussion, the aldermen agreed to
put this request on the agenda. To make it proper, it will be a
motion to issue early retirement letters to all three city
departments with a set period on when they may apply for this
[By NILA SMITH]