As budget shortfall looms, city to offer cash incentive for employees to leave

The City of Edmonds, eyeing a $1.1-million budget shortfall in 2013, has announced a program that would provide a one-time cash incentive for employees to resign or retire.

The Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP), announced Monday by Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, aims to reduce the City’s overall salary costs while minimizing impacts on city services.

According to a city-issued news release, employees will be allowed to participate only if their retirement or resignation results “in a quantified, on-going savings to the city” and won’t cause significant disruptions in service.

“This program has been successful in a few other area cities,” Earling said. “By offering a one-time cash incentive, it may assist employees’ decisions to retire or resign, producing on-going longer term savings to the general fund.”

The incentive will range from three to six months of salary, depending on how many years the employee has worked for the city. Employees can also opt for a smaller cash incentive and instead put a percentage of the payout toward health benefits.

“I am hopeful that this will be a successful first step in developing a balanced budget for 2013,” Earling said.

  1. Well done, progressive thinking! Moving towards making a balanced budget. Instead of caging all those terrifying cats, this is what city council needs to spend time on!

  2. Good job Mayor Earling. It is clear the city has financial issues to solve and this is a good step. As the budget for next near comes into view with savings from early retirements it will likely help but will not close the gap. Now is the time for the public to become more engaged with the budget issues and weigh in on how to solve them. Do we want service cuts or are we willing to increase our taxes. An engaged public can help set our priorities.

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