Breaking: 79 leave county employ; benefits Spangler

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

Today’s deadline for county employees to get a payout for early retirement (a voluntary RIF) showed 79 workers took advantage.

Finance Director Chris Caldwell confirmed 79 early retirements and anticipated $4 million in annual savings against a one-time $2.5 million buyout.  (That’s an average of $31,645 each if buyouts were equal – which they weren’t.)

Hmmm. An unanticipated political payoff goes to Tom Spangler, candidate for sheriff. Seems some 25-30 of the early retirees came from the Sheriff’s Office, and most are expected to pitch in for Spangler. Spangler himself was noncommittal.

What stops the sheriff (or any other officeholder) from just loading up with new staff? Caldwell said Mayor Tim Burchett’s office put letters of agreement in place to prevent that. These 79 departures are a true Reduction in Force.

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