Town of Palm Beach Employees to be Re-Hired
It is no secret that the retention of Town of Palm Beach employees has been difficult since 2012. From managerial staff, firefighters, police, and office staff, the Town of Palm Beach has had several repeated openings in the Town positions. This struggle has caused obstacles for the Town Manager Thomas G. Bradford, in overseeing the best for the Town.
Since public safety is a top concern for the Town Council and Town Manager, they are looking for a new way to fill supervisor positions in the police and firefighter departments. There was an exodus of public safety employees after the pension cuts were imposed in Spring of 2012. Ask any firefighter or police officer and they would easily tell you one of the benefits of risking their lives regularly, is the pension plans that many public safety officials possess.
The decrease in the pension benefits caused many to leave for surrounding municipalities where the pension and benefits were intact. There is an older Town Ordinance that expressed an age limit to people hired into various divisions of the Town government. The age limit for those hired into public safety was limited at age 50. For office employees it is limited to 62 years of age. An older community such as the Town of Palm Beach may have the right intentions with this ordinance, but leaves a very able bodied part of the population from being employed. The management gaps are too large to not look into changing this ordinance, which was stressed by the Public Safety Director, Kirk Blouin.
No one can hide the statistical data that displays the hefty turnover rate at which Public Safety keeps employees. This pattern was brought up by a couple of councilmen at the meeting on Tuesday when Blouin presented the amendment to alter the ordinance. This alteration of the ordinance will allow the re-hire of past public safety managers and staff to be able to serve the Town of Palm Beach once again. At Tuesday’s Town Council meeting it was agreed that the ordinance will be temporarily suspended to hire managers in vital positions. The Town Council of the Town of Palm Beach has kept the protection of the residents into account by approving this hiring strategy.