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By Frank Langfitt and Thomas W. Waldron and Frank Langfitt and Thomas W. Waldron,Sun Staff Writer | February 8, 1995
One of the three trustees who set up a controversial Prince George's County pension program said yesterday that it was never intended to benefit top officials who left county government for political reasons.Eric M. Tucker, the county's former finance director, said the program -- which provides generous early pension benefits for employees forced from their jobs -- was designed only to help workers threatened by layoffs."I anticipated this benefit was going to be for people who were laid off for downsizing," said Mr. Tucker, now finance director of Detroit.
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NEWS
July 5, 2012
As a Baltimore County taxpayer, I have a few suggestions for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to include in his ongoing union contract negotiations with public employees: No more using unused sick leave to boost retirement. Sick leave is a benefit when an employee or family member is sick. It is not to be used as a retirement benefit. Don't come to work sick. Double the amount required to be in the pension program and the health program. No more paid holidays in excess of the normal private sector holidays, especially Black Friday.
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NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer | February 16, 1995
Contrary to previous public statements, Gov. Parris N. Glendening said yesterday that he clearly recalled learning in 1992 about the creation of a controversial Prince George's County pension program.But minutes later, in the same interview, Mr. Glendening reversed himself, saying that he could not specifically recall hearing about the program at the time it was enacted.The issue of when the governor first knew about the pension program is central to the controversy that has engulfed him and three top aides, who stood to receive tens of thousands of dollars in extraordinary early retirement benefits from the county pension program.
NEWS
By DOUG DONOVAN and DOUG DONOVAN,SUN REPORTER | April 5, 2006
Baltimore officials want to curtail a lucrative pension benefit for city police officers and firefighters because it has become too costly both in money and manpower. But proposed revisions to the popular incentive, introduced to the Baltimore City Council last night, are angering police officers - especially a lower interest rate on pension savings and a stringent participation requirement. While the city's two firefighter unions have expressed early support for the legislation, the police union's president said yesterday that the proposal will do "nothing for the retention of police officers."
NEWS
July 5, 2012
As a Baltimore County taxpayer, I have a few suggestions for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to include in his ongoing union contract negotiations with public employees: No more using unused sick leave to boost retirement. Sick leave is a benefit when an employee or family member is sick. It is not to be used as a retirement benefit. Don't come to work sick. Double the amount required to be in the pension program and the health program. No more paid holidays in excess of the normal private sector holidays, especially Black Friday.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer | February 16, 1995
Contrary to previous public statements, Gov. Parris N. Glendening said yesterday that he clearly recalled learning in 1992 about the creation of a controversial Prince George's County pension program.But minutes later, in the same interview, Mr. Glendening reversed himself, saying that he could not specifically recall hearing about the program at the time it was enacted.The issue of when the governor first knew about the pension program is central to the controversy that has engulfed him and three top aides, who stood to receive tens of thousands of dollars in extraordinary early retirement benefits from the county pension program.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer | March 17, 1995
State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. urged fellow senators yesterday to support a bill that would prohibit three top gubernatorial aides from collecting tens of thousands of dollars in early pension payments from Prince George's County.Mr. Miller, a Prince George's Democrat, told a Senate subcommittee that the bill would prevent the county's pension program and others like it from benefiting elected and appointed officials who lose their jobs for political reasons."Appointees accept jobs knowing that they serve at the will of the appointing authority and, indirectly, at the will of the people," Mr. Miller said.
NEWS
April 13, 1998
FIXING WHAT AILS the state's $24 billion pension program cannot -- and should not -- be done in a hurry as the General Assembly rushes to meet today's midnight adjournment deadline.Some important changes can be made to improve retirement for 120,000 teachers and state workers, but not the sweeping $3 billion proposal pushed by the pension board and worker unions.Maryland's pension system lacks flexibility and employee participation. The worker makes no contribution and receives a defined benefit that has not kept pace with retirement needs.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Peter Jensen contributed to this article | February 25, 1995
Michael J. Knapp, the governor's nominee for personnel secretary, said yesterday that he made a mistake in helping to set up a Prince George's County pension program that came to benefit him, the governor and two other top state aides.Mr. Knapp said, in retrospect, that he should have limited the scope of the pension program so that it only applied to employees whose jobs were abolished for economic reasons, not those like himself who were simply "terminated.""I regret that my actions have caused problems for you and are taking a tremendous amount of your time," Mr. Knapp told the 19-member Senate Executive Nominations Committee during his confirmation hearing in Annapolis.
NEWS
By Kris Antonelli and Kris Antonelli,Staff writer | May 17, 1991
Thirty-five angry volunteer firefighters from 10 companies drove fire equipment around the Arundel Center in Annapolis last night, protesting budget cuts they say are harsher than those levied against othercounty departments.The volunteers are up in arms over a proposed$150,000 cut in their pension fund that would deny each recipient a $480-a-year increase.In County Executive Robert R. Neall's proposed 1991-1992 budget, volunteers would be given only 5.2 percent -- $2.2 million -- of the county's $41.5 million fire budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.This year, the volunteer program got $2.4 million of the $41.3 fire budget.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan and Jamie Stiehm and Doug Donovan and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | June 15, 2003
A generous Baltimore police pension plan is likely to create an unprecedented exodus of experienced officers over the next eight months and has city leaders scrambling to fill the ranks. Nearly a fifth of the Baltimore Police Department is eligible to retire under the provisions of a retirement plan with cash pay-outs so large it is becoming increasingly irresistible to the 676 officers enrolled in it. In some cases, retiring officers can walk away with lump sums exceeding $150,000. "They're now maxing out on the benefit in terms of its ability to enhance their payout," Mayor Martin O'Malley said.
NEWS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF | July 10, 2002
Bethlehem Steel Corp. said yesterday that it is in such dire straits that it plans to slash health care benefits for employees and retirees, negotiate a new labor contract and drastically change its pension program in the hopes of getting the company back on solid footing. The bankrupt steelmaker employs about 3,400 at its Sparrows Point plant and is Baltimore County's second-largest employer. But it is the area's 20,000 Bethlehem retirees and surviving spouses - who rely on the steelmaker for their pensions and to help pay for their medical benefits and prescription drugs - who might feel the greatest pain from the changes.
NEWS
February 5, 2002
MEMBERS OF the General Assembly pride themselves on being citizen legislators: teachers, firefighters, doctors, housewives, lawyers and others who come to the task of making laws with knowledge of the issues they shape. Two excellent examples of that tradition now pass each other in the office of state treasurer: Richard N. Dixon, a former member of the House of Delegates from Carroll County who resigned recently for health reasons, and his successor, Nancy K. Kopp, a House member from Montgomery County.
NEWS
By Gady A. Epstein and Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF | February 27, 2001
When former Fire Chief Herman Williams Jr. left the public payroll for good last week after 47 years with the city, he took with him a retirement package of well over a half-million dollars - more than four times his annual salary. Williams, 69, is the latest beneficiary of a special pension program that the city created in 1996 as an incentive to keep rank-and-file police officers on the force longer, which is also netting extraordinary six-figure sums for perhaps 20 or more top-ranking police and fire officials.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | April 9, 1999
For Col. Joseph Bolesta, the money he was offered to leave the Baltimore Police Department was too good to pass up. Former Maj. Tom Yeager hadn't planned to retire but pocketed his windfall and started another career.They are among the 605 police officers and 570 firefighters who have enrolled in a retirement incentive program that started three years ago and can be taken advantage of for the first time this spring and summer."It was a tremendous opportunity to accrue money you'd never in your life be able to do," said Bolesta, a 33-year veteran who is retiring June 4."
NEWS
April 13, 1998
FIXING WHAT AILS the state's $24 billion pension program cannot -- and should not -- be done in a hurry as the General Assembly rushes to meet today's midnight adjournment deadline.Some important changes can be made to improve retirement for 120,000 teachers and state workers, but not the sweeping $3 billion proposal pushed by the pension board and worker unions.Maryland's pension system lacks flexibility and employee participation. The worker makes no contribution and receives a defined benefit that has not kept pace with retirement needs.
NEWS
By John W. Frece and John W. Frece,SUN STAFF | October 4, 1995
Prince George's officials are expected to consider legislation this month that finally would put an end to the county's controversial early pension program.County Executive Wayne K. Curry said he intends to introduce a bill this week or next that would retroactively kill the program, which has been a source of embarrassment for Gov. Parris N. Glendening's administration in Annapolis.If the ordinance is approved by the County Council, it would halt early benefits now flowing to seven former county officials, including former council members Sue V. Mills and Hilda R. Pemberton.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers Marina Sarris and Peter Jensen contributed to this article | February 24, 1995
Gov. Parris N. Glendening should not have been eligible for early pension benefits from Prince George's County, Maryland's attorney general said yesterday.County legal advisers determined last year that Mr. Glendening and two former county council members qualified for tens of thousands of dollars in early payments under a pension program because they were "involuntarily separated" from their jobs by virtue of term limits.But Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. disagreed with that opinion yesterday, saying the program was intended to protect employees who might be laid off for economic reasons -- not elected officials prohibited from seeking another term.
NEWS
By John W. Frece and John W. Frece,SUN STAFF | October 4, 1995
Prince George's officials are expected to consider legislation this month that finally would put an end to the county's controversial early pension program.County Executive Wayne K. Curry said he intends to introduce a bill this week or next that would retroactively kill the program, which has been a source of embarrassment for Gov. Parris N. Glendening's administration in Annapolis.If the ordinance is approved by the County Council, it would halt early benefits now flowing to seven former county officials, including former council members Sue V. Mills and Hilda R. Pemberton.
NEWS
April 11, 1995
A new pension plan being offered to Howard County employees represents one of those seemingly rare occasions nowadays when an employer isn't asking its workers to give something back.Whether in government or the private sector, the prevalent trend in compensation has been to have employees shoulder a larger share of the burden. Annual cost-of-living increases are no longer considered automatic. Also, workers are being asked to assume more responsibility in choosing -- and financing -- their health care and insurance coverages.
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