Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Ind. Gov't. - Double whammy of PERF changes and criminal code changes
From a July 28th story by Jeff Schultz in the Chesterton Tribune:
A “unique situation” was evidently unique enough for the Porter County Council to go against it current hiring freeze Tuesday as it voted 5-0 Tuesday for Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford’s request to add a full-time second legal assistant to his staff.
Bradford addressed the Council in a letter late last week explaining three of his staff members, with a combined total of 67 years experience, have announced their retirements within the last few weeks. They are leaving in August before changes in Public Employee Retirement Funds take effect on Sept. 1 that would lower their pensions, Bradford said.
The PERF changes have influenced others in Porter County Government to retire, such as County Treasurer Mike Bucko, whose last day is this Friday, and County Highway Superintendent Al Hoagland, who will be leaving on Friday, Aug. 14.
Bradford said his staff retirements also come at a difficult time due to state changes in the criminal code that took effect this year such as new penalty procedures for both high level and low level offenders. The new code guidelines won’t necessarily mean a heavier workload, Bradford told the Chesterton Tribune later, but those replacing the outgoing employees will need to learn the new system and won’t have much opportunity to learn from his current staff.
Bradford said he hopes having an additional position will help avoid errors.