Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Budget Savings on the Town Side of the Budget

LONGEVITY STIPEND

The longevity stipend was established as an incentive for employees to remain working for the Town of Lisbon.  This program is in most businesses to retain continuous service by their employees.  It is very costly for companies to continually replace employees so this program is a cost savings.

In this years proposed budget, there are approximately 18 town employees receiving longevity stipend for continuous service in increments of five years.  However, there are a few employees abusing the program.  I will provide some examples:

Scenario 1:  Two individuals retired and were rehired the next day.  The first one retired on February 28, 2003 and the second one retired March 31, 2005.  Both employees were paid longevity stipend for the continued service up to the date of retirement.  Both terminated their service to the town in order to retire and were closed out as of their retirement date of all benefits and money owed.  Yet, they are trying to collect their longevity stipend based on this period of prior service in which they have already been paid for upon retirement.  Since that chapter of their lives has been closed out; they should not be allowed to use that period of service in the computations of continuous service.  The start date for the first employee should be March 1, 2003 and the second employee should be April 1, 2005.

Scenario 2:  There is an employee whose salary is divided by four departments because he is the head of three departments and works in a third.  However, the longevity stipend is recorded as Town Engineer as $1560.00; Public Works Director $1560.00; Solid Waste $1560.00 and Treatment Plant $2600.00 for a total of $7,280.00.  The longevity stipend is to be paid to an employee and not to position or salary.  This individual’s salary has been prorated between the four departments but yet the longevity stipend is not prorated and the employee will receive approximately $5,720.00 more that he should.  This employee should have his longevity stipend prorated between all four departments.  This will save the taxpayers $5,720.00 tax dollars.

In this financial crisis, every penny that the town can save will help the taxpayers.  I do not know if all employees’ longevity stipend is computed accurately.  These two scenarios are the only ones I was able to find that in my eyes are incorrect.

Larry Fillmore