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|FIRST ON WGIL: Galesburg Voluntary Employee Separation Program Supported
|POSTED 8:55pm 9/21/09, UPDATED 1:37am 9/22/09 It garnered almost an hour's worth of debate, but in the end, the Galesburg City Council supported the implementation of a program to convince at least some of the city's employees to leave service early.
Aldermen voted five to three Monday night to approve a resolution supporting City Manager Dane Bragg's proposed employee Voluntary Separation Incentive program, which he estimates could save $250,000 in next year's budget, which right now stands in the red.
City employees who choose to walk now could get up to 12 weeks of severance pay plus health insurance coverage, under the plan Bragg says would take months to implement, which is why he says time is of the essence.
But Sixth Ward Alderman Wayne Allen, who eventually voted for the resolution, said at first he didn't think now was the time to vote on it.
"This is probably a good program," Allen said. "But, I'm not sure the council is ready to vote on it tonight. I see a lot of benefits to this program, I see a lot of good things, and I see a lot of need. But I'm not too sure the council understands it."
And at least three might not have; the three no votes came from Aldermen Ken Goad, Russell Fleming, and Mike Lummis.
Goad said he felt like he was just provided all this information about this program, but Bragg claimed he told aldermen this could be a possibility as far back as April.
A lot of the talk centered around a survey that indicated among the employees who indicated early interest in the program, 12 were in the police department. City officials say before anyone gets concerned about a drop in officers, it's possible some of those employees could be police dispatchers.
|09 21 09 by Newsroom
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