County offers early retirement incentives

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro met with county elected officials, department heads, and CSEA union representatives August 7 to outline an early-retirement incentive program designed to minimize the impact of layoffs while reducing county operational expenses.

The county is seeking to close a budget gap of up to $40 million in next year’s budget. The voluntary employee separation program, called the “Workforce Adjustment Incentive Program,” will offer eligible county employees a one-time $20,000 payment for leaving county service by Nov. 30, 2012.

Approximately 150 employees would be eligible to apply for the program. If 50 employees accepted the incentive, and their positions are deleted or held vacant, the county can expect to save approximately $2.5 million annually, according to Budget Director Valerie Sommerville.

“We continue to scrutinize every dollar, every expense and every cost-saving option to help us overcome a nearly $40 million budget gap. This incentive is an additional step to transform, reconstruct and right-size Dutchess County government,” Molinaro said.

Lizbeth Piraino, president of the county unit of the Civil Service Employee Association, added, “The outlook for the economy does not seem to be improving. I appreciate the challenge facing Dutchess County Government and county taxpayers. This program seems to be a worthy endeavor by County Executive Molinaro to minimize the impact of the 2013 budget on our workforce while recognizing the value of the contributions made by our long-term, dedicated employees.”

The program is open to county employees in select departments who are at least 55 years of age with at least 30 years of service in the state Retirement System, or at least 62 years of age with at least 20 years of service in the state Retirement System. Applicants must notify the Human Resources Department of their request to participate no later than Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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