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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • City in retirement talks with fourth officer

  • The city is currently in negotiations with a police officer to become the fourth and final retiree under the new contract.
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  • The city is currently in negotiations with a police officer to become the fourth and final retiree under the new contract.
    City Council approved a new police contract earlier this month, after three long-serving officers — Capt. Joseph Pilcavage, Det. Sgt. Jesse Van Deusen and Sgt. Joseph Laguzzi — agreed to accept a one-time early retirement incentive offered by the city. Mayor Justin Taylor and council members said that agreement will save the city an estimated $150,000.
    At a council meeting last week, it was disclosed that the city is in discussions with Officer Joseph Demchak to take a disability pension being offered as another one-time deal. Demchak is currently out on medical leave.
    "We're in discussions with the officer right now and just crunching all of the numbers to try to make it work," Taylor related.
    Because Pilcavage, Van Deusen and Laguzzi worked the required minimum of 20 years for the city, they received 50 percent of their respective salaries as retirement-eligible officers in accordance with the police contract — along with an additional 15 percent under the one-time early retirement incentive agreement.
    Taylor told the NEWS that, in Demchak's case, he would be eligible for 40 percent with the disability pension, then the city would contribute an additional 10 percent.
    "With the city kicking in the extra 10 percent, that would bring it to a total of 50 percent as if it were a full-service retirement," the mayor explained.
    As with their action on the previous three retirees, council introduced a special ordinance at last week's meeting outlining the one-time retirement proposal being offered to Demchak. Taylor said that was done to "create a window for this officer to elect to participate in this program."
    If an agreement can be reached, this would complete the reduction of the full-time police force from 12 members down to a minimum of eight, as called for under the new contract.
    However, Taylor noted that there are "some glitches in the police schedule which may require the city to go above that minimum number." So the department could end up with a full-time staff of nine or more officers.
    "Still, we wanted to keep the basement at eight as far as the contract goes," he added.
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