Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. The county sought to cut its workforce by offering early retirements to eligible employees. It hoped 93 of the 400 eligible workers would step up and step out.
However, that number ballooned to 235 -- 107 coming from the Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Department. Those slots will have to be filled as expected, but that process will take time and it is impossible to capture the institutional knowledge that is walking out of the door. It’s a domino-type situation, sergeants become lieutenants and lieutenants become captains and captains become majors, if all things work out, but they usually don’t work as smoothly as everyone would like.
There are bound to be some dropped balls in all the departments and supervisors will have to be patient as remaining employees pick up the slack.
On the plus side, the county will save more money than it had anticipated. It was looking for about $5 million, but will probably end up saving north of the $7 million mark when all is said and done. The public needs to be patient, too.
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There are things county workers do that go unnoticed until they are not done and with fewer employees, citizens might have to wait a little longer for certain services to be delivered and some services might have to be curtailed altogether. That should be just fine for those voices that are constantly calling for a smaller government.