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Fayette abolishes 21 job slots

Faced with losing a proposed $2 million in savings from the early retirement plan offered to county employees last year, the Fayette County Commission officially eliminated 21 vacant positions at its regular meeting Thursday night.

While 32 county employees took the early retirement package and its additional benefits, 22 of those people were replaced by the beginning of the year, which negated nearly all of the savings from the plan, county officials said.

To wrangle the savings back into line, County Administrator Steve Rapson determined that the 10 remaining vacant positions associated with the early retirement program would be eliminated, along with 11 other vacant positions in county government.

The eliminated positions include two jobs each in the planning and zoning, road department, fire service, information systems and commissioners’ departments. Also cut were three positions from buildings and grounds and one each from the legal, human resources, parks and recreation, permits and inspection and another three from the clerk of court’s office.

None of the positions eliminated were with the sheriff’s department.

While none of the job eliminations ended up with employee dismissals, it does mean that county departments will have to handle their workload with less staff, and Rapson thinks that is a challenge county employees can meet without any reduction in service to county taxpayers.

In a previous interview, Rapson credited the board of commissioners for directing him to recoup the necessary savings from the early retirement program.

“Let’s just say this administration is handling things differently than the previous administration,” Rapson said. “I’m a big believer in we do what we say we’re going to do.”

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