June 27, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 25

Borough may offer early retirement

The Haines Borough may offer an early retirement incentive program to its employees in order to recoup some of the lost funding from state and federal sources.

The assembly voted Tuesday to forward the draft program plan to the Government Services Committee and Finances Committee for review. The program would be available to employees who have worked for the borough more than 20 years. Employees who participate would receive a severance package including eight weeks of base pay plus $500 for each year served in excess of 20 years, as well as other benefits.

Mayor Stephanie Scott said there are “a handful” of borough employees who would qualify for the program. “If the employees who qualify were to sign up it would be savings to the borough; it would reduce personnel cost,” she said.

As veteran employees are paid more than newcomers with less experience, releasing higher-paid workers for lower-paid ones should reduce payroll costs, Scott said.

Assembly member Steve Vick requested the administration look into implementing such a program. “It’s a way of trying to lower our expenses and possibly bring about an opportunity for people who might want to retire early... We’re trying to approach it as a win-win situation,” Vick said.

Under the draft plan, interested employees would have to resign between July 15 and Nov. 30.