In his June 15th column, Bill Brosius wrote that he was “trying to figure a logical rationale” for the employment buyout offer. He concluded that it was a “misuse of taxpayer money.” He is wrong. Mr. Brosius failed to consider the substantial savings that would be generated by the reduced salaries that the City would pay to the new, replacement employees in lieu of the higher salaries. For example, in place of a department head earning a hypothetical salary of $80,000, the City could hire a new employee for a salary of say $50,000. When this savings is multiplied by the number of employees leaving (say 67), the savings could be over $2 million per year. And this savings would be generated every year for several years. This would be a major cost-savings for the City.
Some complaints have been voiced that the City acted too hastily in approving the buyout, but no one has offered any cogent arguments that challenge the economic savings to the City from the buyout.
The economic analysis of the buy-out program is admittedly complex, but the financial benefits to the City were the reason that the Aldermen voted 3-0 to offer the buyout. This type of wide-spread buyout also presents the opportunity for the City to eliminate some positions or consolidate others without having to let go any existing personnel. This could generate additional savings.