City of Savannah early retirement deadline approaching

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Wednesday night, City of Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson will deliver his state of the city address to what is expected to be a huge audience.

There are a lot of questions on the minds of residents, and many will be asked Wednesday night.

WTOC found out answers to one of the many questions.

Last month, 57 city employees were laid off as part of budget process. While Mayor Johnson has pointed out, saying city services have not been affected, those jobs are on people's minds.

WTOC spoke with city of Savannah Human Resources Director Beth Robinson Wednesday morning. She says of the 57 laid off workers, her office has worked out plans for 30 of them.

Twenty-six will be relocated to other city positions. Two have accepted the lay off. Two others will take early retirement.

The city also had 550 employees eligible for their early retirement program. So far, 110 people have signed the papers and will retire early.

"We have a couple people who are devoted to doing nothing but meeting with employees because retirement is a big decision and we want them to have all the facts and figures they need to make a good decision for them," Robinson told WTOC.

Robinson says her office continues to meet with laid off employees and is hopeful they will be able to relocate the rest of the workers. Meanwhile, employees eligible for early retirement have until February 17th to decide what they will do. Those meetings are also ongoing.

The mayor's town hall meeting is expected to be a lively one. It starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center.