Staff recommends approval of the authorization to include Fire Lt. Jerry Ponds in the early retirement offer and for the City to pay Lt. Ponds’ health insurance premiums up to a maximum of $400.00 per month.
During March 2008, Fire Lt. Jerry Ponds met with the Human Resources Director and the City Manager to determine if there would be any type of early retirement package offered. During this time period, many cost cutting options were being discussed, but there had not yet been a firm decision. Management did not expect at that point that an early retirement option would include an expanded eligibility for retiree health insurance. Since Mr. Ponds does not participate in the General Employees Pension Plan, it did not appear that there would be any benefit for Mr. Ponds to delay retirement.
On May 1, 2008, Lt. Ponds retired from the City of Leesburg at age 55, with 33 years 11 months of active duty as a firefighter. He announced his retirement to the Human Resources Department in a brief note on April 18, 2008.
Between June 16 and June 18, 2008, CM Evans spoke with each City Commissioner regarding the need to add a retiree health insurance component to the proposed early retirement option. On June 18th, the City Manager made the formal announcement that an early retirement package was being offered, along with a health insurance premium option. This additional retirement inducement pays the employee’s health insurance premium up to $400 per month, provided they meet the age and years-of-service requirement.
On June 26, 2008 Lt. Ponds met with the City Manager to request that he be included in this offer package, stating that had he been aware that this would be offered, he would have delayed his retirement accordingly. CM Evans instructed Mr. Ponds to submit a written request for a City Commission determination. Given that both Lt. Ponds and management acted in good faith in these decisions and given that Lt. Ponds would have delayed his retirement to be included in the early retirement offer had he known about it, Lt. Ponds should be allowed to participate in the offer.
1. Approve the resolution; or
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
The premiums for Lt. Ponds between July 31, 2008 (date of retirement for early retirees) and April 24, 2011 (age 58, the normal age for eligibility) are approximately $12,210. Salary savings (difference between Lt. Pond’s salary and his replacement; unadjusted for raises) for the same period will total approximately $41,403.
Prepared by: EF Smyth, DCM
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Attorney Review : Yes___ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head __JME__
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ________EFS________
City Manager ___________________
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A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO INCLUDE FORMER FIRE LIEUTENANT IN THE EARLY RETIREMENT PROGRAM THAT INCLUDES PAYMENT OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS; AND PROVIDING AND EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the City Manager is hereby authorized to include former Fire Lieutenant Jerry Ponds in the early retirement program that includes payment of health insurance premiums.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the 15th day of July , 2008