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Washington County approves retirement-incentive program

March 15, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

Washington County officials on Tuesday approved a plan expected to save the county anywhere from $500,000 to $1.9 million through a combination of retirement incentives and organizational restructuring.

The plan, approved by a unanimous vote of the Washington County Commissioners, offers $10,000 bonuses for employees eligible to retire currently or within the next three years who choose to retire May 1, June 1 or July 1.

There are 103 employees eligible for the incentive, Murray said.

The plan also includes a broad restructuring of county divisions and departments, with a new Division of Plan Review and Permitting designed to be a "one stop shop" for streamlined development and building approvals, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.

That new division will be headed by Jennifer M. Smith, currently the county's Deputy Director of Public Works for Land Development Engineering.

The restructuring does not include any layoffs, Murray said.

Daniel F. DiVito, the county's current Director of Permits and Inspections, will become Deputy Director of Environmental Management for Water Quality, Murray said.

Michael C. Thompson, the county's current Planning Director, intends to retire under the new incentive program, Murray said.

The restructuring changes, which take effect April 1, are projected to save the county $429,808 per year, Murray said.

If every eligible employee accepted the retirement incentive, the county would save an additional $1.5 million per year by replacing employees high on the salary scale with entry-level employees, he said.

Those savings will help compensate for an anticipated budget deficit of between $5.6 million and $7 million for next fiscal year, Murray said.

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