Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
New Bremen may stop retire/rehire
Council weighing end to practice of rehiring retired village employees
By Jeff Elking
NEW BREMEN - The practice of rehiring retired village employees may be abolished in the coming months
Council members on Monday gave first reading of an ordinance to eliminate the practice with councilman Dennis Burnell casting the lone opposition vote.
Members during a special meeting on Nov. 4 first discussed the possibility on the advice of village administrator Christine Dicke, who had said the program was "not fiscally responsible."
Employees who have been rehired after retirement receive the same pay and benefits including insurance and paid vacation as they did before retirement under the existing policy, Dicke had said. Many retire/rehire employees working for other employers do not receive such benefits, she noted.
A big fiscal problem for the village, occurs when employees save up vacation time rather than using it, resulting in the village's having to pay them for the time they don't use, she had said.
The ordinance would allow current employees to remain employed with changed benefits. Vacation time will not accumulate as it has, but retired employees would receive two weeks' vacation time per year if they have none. Employees likely would be required to use vacation time by the end of the year or lose it.
Employees would keep their current pay rates, but no future pay increases would accrue, but they would stay on the village's insurance plan.
Council member Jim Kronenberger this morning said officials are seeking public input before deciding whether to approve the change. He encouraged residents to attend a council meeting or call the village office to share their thoughts.
Members met in executive session for 100 minutes to discuss personnel issues but took no action after the session.
Members passed appropriations of up to $125,000 to cover any expenses from Jan. 1-8. The first council meeting of the new year is Jan. 8.
They also passed an emergency ordinance to transfer funds, including $875,000 from the income fund into the general fund, $600,000; the streets fund, $175,000; and the parks department, $100,000.
Council members gave first reading to,
• a resolution to change the pay structure for village economic development director Angela Hamberg from a part-time employee to a contracted employee with a pay rate of $42,000 per year with no benefits included. She would work 32 hours per week.
• an ordinance to review the annual cost-of-living adjustments. The current 2 percent rate covers all full-time village employees and police officers.
• a resolution authorizing the fiscal officer to contribute $1,000 toward the defense of municipal income tax collection in Ohio, opposing House Bill 49.
Members gave second reading to an ordinance that would restrict parking behind the library, just north of the pedestrian bridge. The plan is to make spots available for those visiting the library or the Komminsk Legacy Park.
Councilors also discussed shelter house rental agreements. Rental agreements for a year do not start until Feb. 1 and are accepted only for that calendar year. A plan was presented that would allow for several changes to the current policy, including opening up rental of the Crown Pavilion to the general public and taking reservations 18 months in advance. Also proposed was a three-day rental for weddings at a rate of $500. This would better allow the renter time to set up and tear down prior to and after the wedding.
Mayor Jeff Pape issued congratulations to the volleyball team members for their recent success in winning the state Division 4 title on Saturday at the Nutter Center at Wright State University, Dayton, a first-time accomplishment for a team from the local high school.
Pape also noted The Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen will be featured on Thursday's episode of "Mysteries at the Museum" on the Travel Channel.
Due to a conflict with the annual tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 27, the next council meeting was rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28.