By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
6:54 PM EST, January 3, 2012
Baltimore County officials have received more than 650 applications for an early-retirement package — more than three times the number they had sought.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz proposed the buyouts in September, hoping to cut about 200 positions from the county payroll of 8,000. The County Council approved the package the next month. Under the program, workers can receive credit for up to three additional years of service, making them eligible to retire early.
Applications for the program were due last week. Only employees whose positions can be eliminated without cutting county services will be approved, said county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler.
County administrative officer Fred Homan will review applications on a case-by-case basis and do “an in-depth analysis,” Kobler said. Homan has final say on who is approved for a buyout.
Eliminating a position “can’t reduce the quality or the expediency of services that are provided, and it has to be accomplished through consolidation and efficiency measures,” Kobler said.
She said it’s possible that Homan will approve more than 200 people for the program. Those who retire under the incentive program would leave their jobs by the end of February.
Some employees, including police officers and firefighters below certain ranks, social workers and public health nurses, were not eligible for the program.
Administration officials have said that the buyouts will save about $14 million a year.
Kobler said 670 people initially applied for early retirement, but 15 people changed their minds and rescinded.
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