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Bremerton early retirees to save city money

Fourteen Bremerton city employees will retire in the next three months as part of an effort to save the city money.

The senior-level employees will be paid three months’ salary and any remaining vacation and sick time, Mayor Patty Lent said last week. Early retirees include four from the Bremerton Fire Department, four from the Bremerton Police Department and five from Public Works and Utilities.

The separation cost of the early retirement incentives will be more than $458,000, not counting paid vacation and sick leave, Human Resources Manager Carol Conley said, who is one of the employees taking the voluntary retirement offer.

Three employees will leave at the end of April and four will leave at the end of May, while the rest will leave by the end of June.

The retiring employees will not be replaced, at least through 2010, Lent said. In 2011, the city will evaluate whether new hires - to be paid at the bottom of the pay scale - are needed for those empty positions.

The long-term savings to the city are yet unknown, Conley said.

Former Financial Services Director Andy Parks proposed the early retirement measure last year before Lent’s election as mayor.

Former Economic Development Director Gary Sexton was written out of the city budget in December, but was not a participant in the early retirement program.

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