Public Service Director Jon Eckel could be the first Perrysburg city employee to take advantage of a new policy that allows people to retire and then get hired back at a lower pay.
The city is expected to vote today to accept Mr. Eckel's retirement and rehiring. Mr. Eckel's rehire date is expected to start Oct. 1, after council's approval and a public hearing held later in September.
If he was rehired, his salary would drop to $79,546 annually - or $20,321 less than the $99,867 he makes a year.
Mr. Eckel, 54, also would be paid his pension, although he said Monday he had not yet decided which retirement package he would choose and did not know how much his pension would be.
Mayor Nelson Evans put the retirement policy in place last month because he said rehiring retirees would save taxpayer dollars and retain veteran workers.
The city pays the retirees the same salaries as if they were first-time workers on the pay scale. Their vacation and sick-time allotments also start over.
Officials have acknowledged the public perception on what is referred to as "double-dipping," or paying an employee a salary when he is already receiving a pension.
But Mr. Eckel called his rehiring a "win-win" because of the city's savings and he can help City Administrator Bridgette Kabat and Public Utilities Director Timothy Warren, who were both hired this month. "I love my job," said Mr. Eckel, who has been public service director since 2001 and plans to stay for five more years. "I love coming to work every day. I'm not ready to retire. … I still have a lot to offer the city of Perrysburg."
He said his retirement options and the new city policy made the timing right to retire.
His 36-year tenure began in 1976 when he was a recent high school graduate, collecting garbage. Mr. Eckel worked his way up in the public service department. He landed a job at the waste-water treatment plant, eventually becoming the water pollution control division's superintendent for 24 years.
His employees "realize there's someone up there driving the ship that's done every job," he said.