by Pam Zubeck
Dave Lethbridge, Mayor Steve Bach's recently appointed interim public works director, apparently made the most of his retirement in 2009.
Having served 26 years with the city, he was able to retire with full benefits from the Public Employees Retirement Association. And then he got a $15,000 bonus from city taxpayers for doing so.
As the city explains, in response to the Independent's questions, in an e-mail:
Dave voluntarily retired in 2009 prior to the "Reduction in Force". The Voluntary Attrition Retirement (VAR) program incents employees who are eligible for an immediate retirement benefit to leave City employment. Depending on how many employees left in the VAR, a department might not have needed to lay off employees (or was able to lay off less employees) during the "Reduction in Force". His VAR Incentive Payment was $15,000 and his health benefits were extended for one year. The department was then required to leave a position vacated through the VAR empty for one year. The retiree couldn't be considered for rehire during that period of time.
As we reported last week, when he retired he was paid $110,819 a year, the city said in response to questions. In his new role, Lethbridge will be paid $147,657. That's $12,000 more than his predecessor, Helen Migchelbrink, was paid, although Lethbridge apparently has neither the degree nor the license that Migchelbrink has.