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Hagerstown's personnel manager leaving job

June 11, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Eric Marburger, the City of Hagerstown's personnel manager who helped craft a separate pension plan for police and fire employees, is leaving to take a job in Colorado.

Marburger told the mayor and City Council on Tuesday that he has accepted a job as human resources manager for El Paso County, Colo. He starts his new job on July 27.

Marburger, 38, said it's been great working for the city since January 1994. "I've grown a lot. I like to think I got a lot accomplished," he said.

Chief among those accomplishments was helping to create a separate pension plan for police and fire employees that allows them to retire after 25 years of service rather than 30 years, Marburger said.

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Hagerstown public safety employees wanted a separate pension long before Marburger took the head personnel post more than four years ago. The issue had for years been a major sticking point during contract negotiations with the police union.

On July 1, 91 percent of the city's public safety employees will join a new city-run pension plan.

At least 70 percent needed to withdraw from the state pension plan for the city pension plan to move forward, Marburger said. The decision deadline was Friday, although two employees have been given an extension.

Marburger said 141 police and fire employees have decided to leave the state pension plan for the city pension. Fourteen employees will stay with the state, he said.

Marburger said the separate pension for public safety employees is "without a doubt, the most difficult and rewarding project I've worked on."

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said he will begin searching for a new personnel manager, but doubts he'll hire someone by the time Marburger leaves on July 10.

Marburger said his annual salary with Hagerstown was $51,718. He managed a staff of three employees and will oversee about seven people in El Paso County, he said. The county includes Colorado Springs.

Marburger will help El Paso County create its first strategic plan, including training and development for its 2,000 employees, he said. Hagerstown has 449 employees.

Colorado is where his family wants to live, Marburger said.

The move will reduce the time his wife, Helen Pile, spends traveling for her job since the company she works for is based in Colorado, he said. Pile is a client representative for Carl Corp., a library automation company, he said.

The couple have two children, Stephanie, 16, and Zachary, 8.

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