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Council motion fails for retirement match

A request from the retirement system to submit a retirement match for Donald Devaney failed at Monday’s city council meeting after the motion did not receive a proper second.

Councilman Darren Woodruff presented the original motion, but Councilmen David Palmer and Jamie Harris did not give a second to the motion, both indicating they needed more information.

“I am not entirely sure I understand what we are being asked to do,” Palmer said.

City Clerk Belinda Miller said Devaney was a part-time employee for Russellville Park and Rec in the early 2000s for about 10 months and is asking the city to buy into his retirement.

Miller said several previous part-time employees have requested this in the past because Russellville does not take out retirement for part-time employees.

Miller said Devaney is paying $2,000 toward his retirement for the time spent working at Russellville Parks and Rec, but the city is being asked to put forward $7,000 – the amount the city would have originally paid for his retirement in 2000 but with interest.

Palmer said his biggest issue was with the large amount the city was being asked to pay because of interest.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but if you work here, the city does not pay 300 percent of somebody’s amount into the retirement system,” Palmer said. “He’s asking the city to pay more than three times what he is paying toward his retirement. The point is, if we are going to be in the business of paying back with interest, we should go ahead and start taking it out now.”

Miller said the city does not take out retirement for part-time employees, but Palmer said it is possible because the county does.

Councilman/Mayor Pro Team Gary Cummings agreed with Palmer and said it was interesting the council was being asked pay back more than the employee because of interest, since it had been 20 years.

“I know usually this is something people don’t think about until they get closer to retirement, but maybe this is something we need to look at having some sort of time limit on,” Cummings said.

Palmer said he would like to go ahead and take out the money for retirement for current part-time employees to eliminate similar problems in the future.

“I think this is something we need to look into in the future because otherwise this is a liability we are going to be passing onto the next council,” Palmer said.

Cummings pointed out that a decision did not have to be made that night because the request for Devany has until Sept. 3.

Cummings asked again if anyone would like to second the motion. The motion failed for lack of a second.

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