Focus Sharpens On County Early Retirement Plan Results

Seven departments shed 174 employees and $11 million in salaries.

Baltimore County expects to save more than $11 million through the elimination of 174 positions in seven departments as a result of its early retirement incentive offering.

Baltimore County officials have been slow to release information on how each department has been specifically affected. Recent budget hearings before the County Council have shed some light on the issue.

The county expects to expects to save a total of $8 million from retirements in the Fire, Police, Property Management and Public Works departments, according to reviews performed by the county auditor's office.

Department Retired Employees Expected Savings Environmental Protection and Sustainability 7 $535,000 Fire 20 $2.1 million Permits 30 $1.4 million Police 26 $2 million Property Management 41 $2.1 million Public Works 40 $2.3 million Recreation and Parks 10 $596,000

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced the early retirement incentive last year. County officials hoped to eliminate 200 positions and save about $15 million annually.

The individual retirements required approval from County Administrative Officer Fred Homan. Most employees were required to leave their positions by the end of February and the jobs were then eliminated.

Last month, Kamenetz announced that more than 600 county employees applied for the retirement incentive. The county approved 310 retirements and estimate the savings will be about $21 million.

This post has been updated to correct the number of positions deleted from the Department of Environmental Protection and Sutainability.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

charles richardson May 16, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Back to the topic at hand. I support the County in it's efforts to reduce the payroll and we are in much,much better shape than most and you must give credit where credit is due. However,this could be reduced to a simple excercise that would take 1 to 2 days,at most using one person. Somebody knows who retired, someone knows what they were making. It's spreadsheet 101, you list the people who walked out the door, you list their salary. You then add up the number of people and add their salaries. There really isn't any reason someone in the County couldn't do that relatively quickly. I'm concerned that that hasn't been done. It would at least give a quick snapshot of the people and savings and no names need to be divulged. Please County, I support you but this excercise needs to happen. Please put the doubters to rest. Have someone complete the basic excercise and release the figures.
charles richardson May 16, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Raven, you are correct but the numbers are too far off for that to be the answer. The spread is way too high. If it were in the $800 or 900,000 range I could accept that premise. This is a great program,on the surface it appears to be a win-win for all. I applaud the County for it's aggressive nature curbing costs. I do think that information needs to get out, even if it isn't what was originally thought to be the savings. If the program saves 50% or 70% of the plan it's a win.
Mike Pierce May 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Well, it's more complicated. They got rid of some people in maintenance, so they are saving on not paying them salary or beneifts. Instead, they are contracting out the grass cutting for at least one park I know of. Where does the cost of hiring that contractor fit into the spreadsheet? Have they just shifted the expenses from one column to another?
charles richardson May 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM
To Mike,those are fair comments and observations but initially the least that can and should be done is a simple accounting of the 310 that retired. At least that number could be put out there. In time the real additional costs and savings will be vetted. I'm sure it takes time to calculate the health savings etc. but in the interim I hope the County can at least put some basic numbers together on the 310.
fred May 17, 2012 at 01:00 AM
it is easy to account the numbers you reference,but it takes time to make things appear better than they are. it is also required that these eliminated numbers don't reappear in a year as another position with a different name as occurred last time when there were reductions of this type in a public safety department.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »