Friday, June 27, 2014
 
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Deputy Police Chief Michael Geriets initiates offer for early retirement

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[June 27, 2014]  LINCOLN - Tuesday evening the city of Lincoln aldermen learned that Assistant Police Chief Michael Geriets would like to consider early retirement if the city would approve.

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 eligible.

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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 doesnít 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 program.

[By NILA SMITH]

 

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