Total of 670 Baltimore County employees file for early retirement

A total of 670 Baltimore County employees applied for the early retirement program by the Dec. 30 deadline, county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said Tuesday afternoon.

When the early retirement incentive was announced in October, county officials said they hoped to trim around 200 positions from the county's workforce of 8,000, though not all were eligible for the incentive.

Kobler said some of the 670 who stepped forward have since rescinded their applications — they were simply curious to see the program, she said — while others applied who weren't actually qualified.

The number of qualified and remaining candidates among the 670 has not yet been determined, Kobler said.

Last week Don Mohler, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's chief of staff, said more than 590 employees had applied as of Dec. 15, meaning that another 80 employees submitted their names in the final two weeks.

With the application deadline now passed, County Administrative Officer Fred Homan will review the applications and determine which applications to accept.

Kobler said there was no timetable for Homan's decisions, but the last day of work for those who are accepted must be by Feb. 29.

All employees who are granted early retirement must have their positions eliminated as well, meaning that some employees whose accrued service time and age qualify them for the package may still be denied.

Not all categories of workers were eligible. The program did not apply to police officers below the rank of lieutenant, firefighters below the rank of captain, deputy sheriffs, correctional officers, 911 center personnel, public health nurses, social workers and appointed department heads.

Administration officials said in October that trimming the positions could save about $14 million a year.

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