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Pension System

By TIM ROWLAND | | August 5, 2012
Somewhere, Del. Andy Serafini is coming to life. He does this - he has earned that right - every time there is more bad news about the Maryland pension fund. And there was bad news again this week, following reports that the fund had earned a meager 0.36 percent return in fiscal 2012, when the state had been counting on 7.75 percent. And don't bother with any jokes about buying Facebook stock, because the state reported that it was done in by its “international investments.” Oh no. Please don't tell me Maryland was long on ouzo.
by BOB MAGINNIS | May 17, 2006
Despite what opponents Michael Steele and Josh Rales have said about their lack of experience at the congressional level being a plus, Rep. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, disagrees. In recent interviews, Rales, a Democratic businessman making his first run for public office and Steele, Maryland's Republican lieutenant governor, have both tried to make a virtue of the fact that they are congressional outsiders. In town Tuesday to speak to a meeting of United Auto Workers' retirees, Cardin rejected the idea that experience will hinder rather than help the person who replaces U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md.
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | | April 21, 2012
Washington County's state legislators pursued some lofty but unattainable goals this year, along with several more grounded ideas that succeeded. Sen. George C. Edwards and Del. John P. Donoghue each won a share of the state's capital budget for local projects. Sen. Ronald N. Young sponsored successful legislation to protect employees or job applicants from having to hand over their passwords to social media sites. After four failed tries, Sen. Christopher B. Shank amended his proposal to increase the penalty for fatal child abuse this year and it passed.
by SCOTT BUTKI | February 1, 2004
Editor's Note: This is the first of a four-part series in which the 15 candidates running for the Washington County Board of Education talk about education-related issues. Next Sunday: In a worst-case scenario, do you cut staff or programs? Most of the 15 candidates running for the Washington County Board of Education say that the board needs to ensure that teacher salaries are competitive in order to attract more teachers to the county.
May 2, 2011
Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, is holding a public forum May 23 to talk about new changes to the state retirement and pension system. Two representatives of the State Retirement Agency are scheduled to join Serafini: Executive Director R. Dean Kenderdine and J. Howard Pleines, the director of legislation and research. The forum will be at South Hagerstown High School from 7 to 9 p.m., according to Rebecca Fishack, Serafini’s assistant. Serafini said he called the meeting because there wouldn’t be enough time to talk in-depth about the topic at post-legislative wrap-up forums May 11. The meeting is free to the public, members of which will have a chance to ask questions.
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | | May 23, 2011
State officials were in Hagerstown on Monday to discuss the newest changes to the pension and health benefits systems. Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, organized a forum on those topics at South Hagerstown High School. About 60 people attended the event. From the Maryland State Retirement Agency, Executive Director R. Dean Kenderdine and Director of Legislation J. Howard Pleines attended to talk and answer questions. Anne Timmons, the director of the Employee Benefits Division for the Maryland Department of Budget and Management’s Office of Personnel Services and Benefits, also spoke.
By JULIE E. GREENE | August 9, 1998
At least 40 people applied for the personnel manager opening for the City of Hagerstown as of late Friday afternoon, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Friday. Applications were due Friday for the position, which has been vacant since Eric Marburger left on July 10 to become human resources manager for El Paso County, Colorado. Austin Abraham, the city's project coordinator, has been acting personnel manager since Marburger left. Zimmerman said more applications might come in late Friday through the mail, which he would receive on Monday.
February 17, 1997
Now that state officials have tentatively agreed to chop Hagerstown's $9.9 million pension debt in half, it's time to ask some questions about what happened and what it means. The debt was created by the 1996 General Assembly, as state pension system officials crafted a bill to keep other local governments (with much higher employee turnover rates) from fleeing the system. It seems clear that those same state officials misled both the delegation and city officials about what the bill's true costs would be. However, Tim Carey, an actuarial consultant working for the city, says he warned city officials that something like this might happen.
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | September 13, 2006
A former Hancock police chief's claim for back compensation has been denied on appeal. In an opinion and order filed Monday, Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III ruled in favor of Hancock's mayor and council in a pay dispute with Donald R. Gossage, the previous police chief. Boone's written opinion and order says Gossage agreed in 2003 to give up a portion of his compensation in order to start a Law Enforcement Officers Pension System (LEOPS). For each of two fiscal years, he was paid $1,883 less than the contract amount.
March 13, 1998
By JULIE E. GREENE Staff Writer A meeting will be scheduled to give Hagerstown police and fire personnel a chance to question consultants about a new retirement plan being considered, city officials said Tuesday. Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said there wasn't enough time during a one-hour discussion between the council and consultants on Tuesday for the roughly 42 police and fire personnel in the audience to comment. City officials must decide by the end of March whether to withdraw public safety personnel, and possibly other employees, from the state pension system.
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