No COL raise for retirees

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
A crowded room greeted Escambia County Commissioners Monday as a group of retired county employees gathered to voice opinions over the lack of a raise in their benefits - but commissioners could not give them much hope for more money.
Keyser told commissioners the adjustment would cost the county just under $30,000 a year in expenses. That amount would mean an average of about $54 per retiree.
Todd Williamson, commissioner for District 2, said there is little the commission can do in these cases.
Commission Chairman David Stokes agreed.
Keyser said he understood the position of the commissioners but hoped they would understand the position the retirees are in.
Keyser said the next authorization of a cost of living adjustment for retirees by the legislature will likely come in 2009. He estimates the benefits currently being received by retirees will have lost 10 percent of its power before those increases take effect.
Wiley Tait, commissioner for district 5, said the group will have to wait a bit longer for a decision from the commission.
Commissioners tabled any action in consideration of the retiree compensation pending workshop discussion on budgeting for fiscal 2008.