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Council Presses For Briefing on Early Retirement Incentive

Success of a program expected to save as much as $15 million remains unknown.

Its been more than a month since employees began leaving under an early retirement incentive program and members of the Baltimore County Council say they want to know how much the county has saved.

Several members of the council asked county Budget Director Keith Dorsey questions about the program during a Tuesday work session.

Doresy explained that the figures would be part of the budget message County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will deliver to the County Council 10 a.m. Thursday.

"We did have an agreement that we'd be briefed on the reorganization and how much money it would save," said Councilwoman Vicki Almond.

The council last October.

The individual retirements needed the approval of County Administrative Officer Fred Homan. Most of those employees were expected to leave as of February 29.

County officials hoped as many as 200 employees would retire under the program. Savings related to those retirements was expected to be as much as $15 million.

In December, county officials said upwards of .

Exactly who took the buyouts and how much the county saved has not been released publicly. Patch requested information on the early retirments on March 1.

Don Mohler, Kamenetz's spokesman and chief of staff, declined to release the information pending a council briefing.

"Before we share any information publicly, we will need to brief the County Council," wrote Mohler in an email reply to a request for information. "Mr. Homan will brief the council in the next few weeks and simultaneously to that briefing we will release the final numbers.  I am sure that you understand that we can't release any information prior to the Council having the data to review."

A March 27 briefing with the council was postponed.

Mohler, in another email, wrote in another email: "Budget is still crunching data.  Fred will postpone briefing at this time.  Much of the early retirement information is intertwined with budget preparation."

Almond said Tuesday that the council still hopes to be briefed on the program before Thursday.

"We asked because we would like to be briefed," Almond said.

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johnny towson April 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The Administration knows (I would hope) that it needs to dot every "i" on this one as there are lines of voters standing by with pitchforks in hand ready to tear through this program's reporting and effectiveness. It even if achieves (projects to achieve) its desired effects, there will remain suspicion and lingering communication clouds surrounding all of its tentacles.
fred April 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
postpone the briefing means make up better numbers.
Paul Amirault April 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM
This is not easy, as all "early retirement" programs go, you take the most highly paid, most experienced employees and pay them to retire "early" so we can replace them with lower paid, less experienced employees. Do we really save money? How many come back to work the system? This issue requires careful thought.
fred April 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM
so true,just check out moxley and gardinia and they weren't involved in early retirement, but they will be.
Calm down April 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM
The County'sretirement incentive program requires Elimination of the position, or a comparable one; hence the savings. Moxlet and Gardina were members of the council who retired but without Incentive. Rather than collect their legislative branch pensions that they paid for and earned, they are deferring them while they work in the executive branch.
fred April 12, 2012 at 01:46 PM
isn't that what i said
Dundalkwatchdog April 13, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Gardinas job in the Executive branch was the thing that was paid for by 173,000 dollars in capaign contributions from Gardinia to Kevin. http://www.mdelections.org/campaign-finance/advanced-search/contributions?acctno=A8893
lemmy winks April 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM
"calm down" is obviously in the administration's employ, and that is OK. He can also express an opinion. But his statement as to the "retirements" of Gardina and Moxley, and for that matter Kamenetz, is a half truth. the reality is these guys "retired" on a Sunday(!) and returned to work the next day. Their "retirements" were never approved by the retirement board, and the law that they used for this was passed in an unscrupulous fashion. This is unprecedented in County history. I think it's great that this issue is now back in the news, and I think the Council should ask for a briefing on this as well. Let's see what Homan has to say about this. Kamenetz' only response on this to date is "no comment." Why is he allowed to not respond on such an important issue. Maybe Gardina and Moxley should be asked to explain what they know about how this secret double dipping pension law came to be.
johnny towson April 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
@ Lemmy, How can the County claim that they (Moxley, Gardina and KK) "paid for" their pensions... Lemmy, care to address this? (see damclown's post above)
Dundalkwatchdog April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Sorry, my link above didnt work. A Better Baltimore County Slate was formed in 2010 By Kevin, Johnny O and Gardinia were the big contributors
Dundalkwatchdog April 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Oops, Sorry I missed a contribution, Gardina gave KK 198,000 dollars for his job. Now the link is working

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