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Retiring and reappointing elected officials
Started on Feb 06, 2013 by Bryan Wroten
An Avon Lake Municipal Utilities board member plans to retire to take advantage of his retirement benefits but wants the board to reappoint him. The board briefly discussed the matter but tabled it until he could answer some more questions. Retire-rehire, double-dipping or whatever you want to call it is pretty common in both the public and private sectors, but you don't see it too often for elected officials. I found the timing of this case funny just after reading a few weeks ago about a Cleveland City Council member doing the exact same thing and the roasting the council received from Mark Naymik at the Plain Dealer. I'm stuck on the fence when it comes to retire-rehire. On one hand, there can be a public benefit if the retiring person comes back at a base salary, so the cost to taxpayers is less and they keep someone with years of experience. On the other, that person is already receiving retirement benefits and by being rehired, that closes an employment opportunity for someone else. Elected officials, I think, are something else entirely. I'm not as sure of the advantages by reappointing someone after retirement. In this case, the board chairman said he was in favor of reappointing the board member because he was voted to serve for four years, and to not reappoint him in the middle of this term would disenfranchise voters. Interesting point, but that board member ran unopposed. Also, when the previous board chairman retired, five people applied for the spot. What are your thoughts about an elected official seeking reappointment after retiring for the benefits?
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