Retirement agreements must save city money

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mayor Jason Reeves said he is still in negotiations with eligible employees regarding an incentive package for potential early retirement.

The ordinance would allow unclassified employees with 25 years or more of service under the Retirement Systems of Alabama retirement plan to take an early retirement and keep their city health insurance paid for, as well as remaining employed with the city in another capacity with a salary of under $31,000.

But if the retiring employees must be replaced, where will the savings come from?

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Reeves said the ordinance passed by the council gives him the authority to work out the terms of each agreement individually, but cost savings is a necessary component for an agreement to be reached.

“If we can’t get it to work without the savings we wont do it,” Reeves said. “If we have to hire someone new without an overall savings to the city, it just wouldn’t be done. With certain people if it doesn’t save money, it just can’t work. That’s one of the things related to the ordinance is it has to save money. Either there wouldn’t be a replacement or it would or at such a lower salary that it makes sense, but it has to save money – that’s part of the deal.”

The six eligible employees are City Clerk Alton Starling, Water and Sewer Superintendent Mike Davis, Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith, Public Relations and Tourism Director Shelia Jackson, Environmental Services Director Vaughn Daniels and Troy Police Chief Randall Barr.

Smith confirmed that he is eligible for the deal, but will be remaining as director of the recreation department. Davis and Starling both said they are still considering their options. Barr declined to comment. Efforts to reach Jackson and Daniels before publishing time were unsuccessful.

Reeves said any agreements must be reached by March 29.

Although Reeves is authorized to negotiate the best deal for the city, the ordinance does outline some possible incentives.

“… the employee may be entitled to receive: (i) payment for annual leave which has accrued pursuant to the city’s policies; and/or (ii) sick leave which has accrued under applicable City policies; and/or (iii) entitlement to such other payment or concessions which in the determination of the Mayor will save the City money,” the ordinance states.