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CCC treasurer makes retire-rehire proposal

Says move will save district more than $27K per year

 

GETAWAY — It’s a move that would save the school district money, but comes with negative connotations for some people.

Treasurer of the Lawrence County Joint Vocational School, Richard Sketel, made a proposal to the school board to retire and be rehired — a practice some call “double-dipping.”

But Sketel, in his fourth year with the school, says the move will not cost the district.

In fact, Sketel said, the move is a “win-win” for everybody.

In an agreement with the board, Sketel will retire and be rehired at a $27,000 reduction in salary and benefits paid by the school district.

Retirement payments would come from the Public Employees Retirement System from Sketel’s nearly 30 years at the Ohio State Auditor’s Office as chief auditor of southeastern Ohio.

“The district is not paying the retirement portion,” Sketel said. “It’s at no cost to the district.”

Sketel said he believed there is a big misconception about the retire-rehire process.

“Everybody thinks (the district’s) paying two salaries. That’s not it at all. It’s not a negative thing. It’s a positive thing.”

The practice of “double-dipping” is legal in Ohio and is not an anomaly throughout the state.

A 2010 analysis by Ohio’s eight largest newspapers found that one in four public school leaders in Ohio’s 614 districts collected both pensions and paychecks, as are one in two educational service center superintendents.

In 2009, Collins Career Center Superintendent Steve Dodgion made a similar move.

Dodgion retired in July 2009 and was rehired by the board after several interviews with other candidates.

Sketel said he wanted his proposal to be worthwhile to the board for allowing him the opportunity to retire and be rehired.

“They were pretty excited,” he said. “Both parties could live with (the proposal). I certainly could, or I wouldn’t have made the offer.”

Instead of just retiring and leaving his post at CCC, Sketel said he would still like to work for the district for 10 to 15 more years.

The retire-rehire process will be official in 30 days. There was a public hearing Monday at the school board office on the CCC campus — no one from the public attended.