Comments
21 - 40 of 45 Comments Last updated Jan 21, 2013
Tunnel Man

Berlin, MD

#22 Jan 15, 2013
UC Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
Again, people on TOPIX seem to live a tunnel.

Remember, Union County is made up of people from all over the country and our goals are very different than those I encounter in north Georgia.
Furthermore, those with pensions cannot draw full SSI benefits regardless whether or not they paid into the system all their life.
Another tunnel man that doesn't know what he's talking about. SSI.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#23 Jan 15, 2013
UC Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
Again, people on TOPIX seem to live a tunnel. People have moved here from other states, with a pension they paid into for decades.(Pensions are earned, they aren't handed out when a person retires.) That should not keep anyone from working anywhere they like as long as they have the education, experience, and will to work. There should be no restrictions where a person can work whether they retire from GA schools or any other agency that pays into a public retirement system.
It is obvious to me that people who complain about this don't have that advantage and opportunity.
Also, don't be so sure that the retiree is returning making the same salary as when they retired. You might be surprised.
GA teacher salary is a pitiful compared to the rest of the country.
Remember, Union County is made up of people from all over the country and our goals are very different than those I encounter in north Georgia.
Furthermore, those with pensions cannot draw full SSI benefits regardless whether or not they paid into the system all their life.
We have people in Gilmer that are from all over the country also. If you work and retire from the private sector , you do not have the perks as most teachers do. Also are you will to contribute more taxes so teachers can make more money? If you live in Blairsville you are well a ware of what the average income level are for most of the tax payers. I have no problem with teachers working once they have retired. Just not with the same school system. If you want to work in neighboring state that is fine. Or if you enter another occupation that also is fine just don't double dip the Georgia School system.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#24 Jan 15, 2013
UC Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong on many talking points. First, a retirement or pension isn't anywhere near $80,000 a year. Many retirees need to work for various reasons. Yes, people walk away from $80,000 jobs and retire to find out that they don't like retirement.
What you are writing about is a procedure done all over the country. The retiree is rehired either on contract or as a "consultant." Most agencies to include county, state, federal, and private enterprise practice this procedure because the retiree is valuable and knowledgable beyond those who don't have decades of experience under their belt.
I said it before. A retiree works on their terms and that is something we all like.
It might not be 80,000, but it is 80 percent of what you were earning before retirement. And yes there are teachers that make 100,000 year toward the end of their careers.
Tim

Dawsonville, GA

#25 Jan 15, 2013
None are worth the money they are paid !!!

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#26 Jan 15, 2013
UC Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
People aren't trees nor are they rooted to the ground. Comparing the rest of the country to Gilmer or any of the mountain towns is not realistic. People who are willing to relocate have no problem finding employment in their field of endeavor. Maybe, north Georgia needs to come into this century and stop living in the past?
I really love your simplistic answer. Of course people can move, but not everyone has that option. If you are young there are a lot more opportunities out there for you. For the older crowd that still has to work the choices are a lot fewer to pick from. Some people have worked in the mountain communities all their life. While most may not have made what a teacher makes, they did provide for their families. The mountain communities biggest mistake, not planning for well developed industries for their communities. Industries that provide a wage sufficient enough to pay a liveable wage and a long with salaries for teachers.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#27 Jan 15, 2013
Tim wrote:
None are worth the money they are paid !!!
I will probably get blasted for this, but I don't believe any high school teacher should make more than 70,000 a year period. If you have the qualification to earn more than that you should be a professor at a college. You would be wasting you experience and education at the high school level.
Oh my

Dahlonega, GA

#28 Jan 15, 2013
Tim wrote:
None are worth the money they are paid !!!
And I bet you've always been worth more than you were ever paid.
luv that gov job

Toccoa, GA

#29 Jan 15, 2013

Retirement deal pays well for Hall County administrator
Shuler’s contract offers pay, pension and perks worth more than $300K

POSTED: January 24, 2008 5:03 a.m.

On Dec. 31, 2006, Hall County Administrator Jim Shuler retired from his job with county government.

Two days later, he went back to work in the same job, at his same annual salary of $165,000. On the same day, he began drawing a $91,730 county pension, with taxpayers contributing an additional $22,160 to a second retirement fund.

With fringe benefits, such as life and health insurance for Shuler and his family, a $1,456 monthly allowance for an automobile and other payments, such as the county's portion of his Social Security contributions, the entire package amounts to just more than $330,000 a year. He had received all of those benefits when previously employed by the county, except for the second retirement and the pension payments.

The arrangement was approved by four of the five current commissioners and former Commissioner Deborah Lynn in late 2006. The current commissioners who voted for the arrangement say they have no qualms about it.

However, Commission Chairman Tom Oliver, who signed the five-page contract, said he was not aware of the second retirement plan. "I did not realize we were paying extra for a new retirement fund for him, and would not have supported that," Oliver said. "I don't understand how that got involved in the program."

An entire section of the contract is devoted to the retirement issue, stating that an amount equal to 16 percent of the base salary be placed into a deferred compensation program.

Documents obtained by The Times indicate that both the plan under which Shuler retired and the new plan are administered by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

O
luv that gov job

Toccoa, GA

#30 Jan 15, 2013
liver defended his actions, however, saying that the arrangement had been unanimously approved by the commission and reviewed prior to his signing.
"The county attorney said it was ready for my signature, they presented it to me and I signed it," said Oliver. He said in his role as chairman, he signs hundreds of documents each month.
The one commissioner angered by the arrangement is Bobby Banks. He was elected in 2006 and not on the commission when the contract was approved. Banks failed in an attempt to seek Shuler's ouster during Thursday night's commission meeting at which Shuler and 21 other county employees were reappointed to their positions. Banks said he first learned of Shuler's retirement arrangement in a meeting about three months ago.
That meeting, according to Banks, was to discuss county employees who were facing mandatory retirement but wanted to continue their employment with the county. He said it was at this meeting he was told that Shuler had such an arrangement.
But Banks said that his frustration with Shuler goes beyond the employment arrangement. "He has, on more than one occasion, betrayed my trust," Banks said, adding that information he told Shuler in confidence was relayed to other commissioners.
Shuler, in an interview with The Times, said he was not mad at Banks and had worked well with him since Banks took office in January 2007.
In the same interview, Shuler, 56, a Hall County native who has worked for the county since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1977, defended his decision to take retirement while continuing to work for the county.
"I earned my retirement up to a certain point and I'm going to get that," Shuler said. "People call that double dipping, but the county already paid that money and it's gone. It's not like I'm double dipping out of the county budget every year."
He contends that his regular salary and benefits would be paid to whomever held the post. "The taxpayers are going to pay that money, anyway," Shuler said. "They're going to have some kind of administrator up here and they're going to pay him."
Shuler said the car allowance was increased as a form of a pay hike. According to memos, the car allowance had been $850, but was adjusted by 4 percent of his annual salary, making the current car allowance $1,456 per month, or $17,472 per year.
Under Section 1.62-2 of the Internal Revenue Service regulations, persons who receive an automobile allowance must have "an accountable plan" for how the funds are use; otherwise, the allowance would be taxable income.
Shuler's salary in the contract was specified as $165,000, but according to documents, has been increased to $182,000, an increase of a little more than 10 percent.
Two commissioners, Billy Powell and Steve Gailey, defended both the arrangement and Shuler.
"We have the right man for the job and the most qualified person we can possibly have in that position," Powell said. "I think it's up to us (commissioners) to do what is necessary to get the best person in that job."
Powell called Shuler "the CEO of a $90 million-a-year corporation" and said that it would be impossible to replace his knowledge and experience in Hall County. "It warrants every penny he gets," Powell said.
luv that gov job

Toccoa, GA

#31 Jan 15, 2013
Gailey said the idea to rehire Shuler after retirement was Oliver's. "That was Tom's idea and suggestion," Gailey said. "I think Jim is a huge asset to our county; he was born and raised here."
Gailey said the retirement benefits are a separate issue. "What I look at as a commissioner is what I'm going to have to pay someone else. The retirement is separate. A lot of people retire and go to work other places," he said.
Hall County has a number of retired workers who have been rehired into their same positions after reaching mandatory retirement. Shuler said they work primarily in key administrative and management positions.
However, some have gone elsewhere. Doug Derrer, the former county public works director who retired in December, has accepted a position in management in Forsyth County's government.
Gwinnett County does not allow retired employees to be rehired into their same positions. That is a county policy that applies to all employees, human resources director Kenneth Poe said. "We have some pretty stringent restrictions," he said.
He said Gwinnett rehires retirees primarily to help them supplement their retirement pay, usually at an entry-level position. The state of Georgia allows workers who are drawing retirement to work up to 1,080 hours per year, about 20 hours per week. State retirees do not receive benefits, such as health care coverage, and do not accrue any additional retirement. If a retired state worker exceeds 1,080 hours, retirement is suspended and the employee is considered a full-time employee again.
Curious Cat

Dahlonega, GA

#32 Jan 15, 2013
I wonder how many county employees, teachers and otherwise, have retired and have been rehired back doing the same or similar job. I wonder what an Open Records Request for all current employees that are doing that would reveal. No one? Many? Few?
Informed Opinion

Lehigh Acres, FL

#33 Jan 15, 2013
turniptown wrote:
You want all the teachers to make a 100,000 a year,where do you purpose to get the money to pay them that? Are you willing to have your taxes raised? In most of the mountains communities of georgia the taxpayers do not make that kind of money to support paying all teachers a 100,000 a year. Here in Gilmer, we gave the retires a tax break on school taxes. They pay no school taxes at all if you are over 65. That leaves a heavier burden on the younger crowd. A large percentage of the younger crowd is now unemployed or under employed. I do wish we lived in a world where all teachers made a 100,000 a year, but I don't see where the money will come from to accomplish that.
Here's where :

We cut the War Department in half, and use the $350 Billion to $ 500 Billion a year saved to pay for quality educators, facilities, and programs.

We retract the Bush billionaire tax cuts and use the $100 billion a year saved for education.

We raise the taxes hedge funds and millionaires pay to the same rate the rest of us pay on our incomes and use the $150 Billion a year raised for education.

We tax every sell of every share of stock and use the additional billions to pay for education.

Any one of these actions would allow us to raise our educational systems to compete with,.... say... Norway.

Wow, American kids as smart as Norwegians - what a dream.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#34 Jan 15, 2013
Informed Opinion wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's where :
We cut the War Department in half, and use the $350 Billion to $ 500 Billion a year saved to pay for quality educators, facilities, and programs.
We retract the Bush billionaire tax cuts and use the $100 billion a year saved for education.
We raise the taxes hedge funds and millionaires pay to the same rate the rest of us pay on our incomes and use the $150 Billion a year raised for education.
We tax every sell of every share of stock and use the additional billions to pay for education.
Any one of these actions would allow us to raise our educational systems to compete with,.... say... Norway.
Wow, American kids as smart as Norwegians - what a dream.
I guess you can always dream.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#35 Jan 15, 2013
It appears we have a few teachers following this thread.
Bored

Berlin, MD

#36 Jan 15, 2013
Informed Opinion wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's where :
We cut the War Department in half, and use the $350 Billion to $ 500 Billion a year saved to pay for quality educators, facilities, and programs.
We tax every sell of every share of stock and use the additional billions to pay for education.
Any one of these actions would allow us to raise our educational systems to compete with,.... say... Norway.
Boring.

Since: Oct 11

Flarda

#37 Jan 15, 2013
Now that right there is a very good informed opinion. Excellent post.
Informed Opinion wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's where :
We cut the War Department in half, and use the $350 Billion to $ 500 Billion a year saved to pay for quality educators, facilities, and programs.
We retract the Bush billionaire tax cuts and use the $100 billion a year saved for education.
We raise the taxes hedge funds and millionaires pay to the same rate the rest of us pay on our incomes and use the $150 Billion a year raised for education.
We tax every sell of every share of stock and use the additional billions to pay for education.
Any one of these actions would allow us to raise our educational systems to compete with,.... say... Norway.
Wow, American kids as smart as Norwegians - what a dream.
retired teacher

Dawsonville, GA

#39 Jan 18, 2013
According to the state website:

"All TRS (Teacher's Retirement System)retirees may engage in the following types of employment without jeopardizing their monthly benefit:
•Substitute teaching at the substitute daily rate;
•Private school teaching;
•Teaching in a state other than Georgia;
•Employment in the private sector;
•Employment with a State of Georgia agency;
•Self employment;
•Employment in non-TRS covered positions; and
•'Temporary' employment in a TRS covered position (not to exceed 3 months in a fiscal year)."
retired teacher

Dawsonville, GA

#40 Jan 18, 2013
"Full-Time Employment

Current law allows a TRS (Teacher's Retirement System)retiree who retired under a normal service retirement to return to work and continue receiving full retirement benefits provided the retiree has been retired for a minimum of 12 months.

Normal service retirement is defined as having at least 30 years of service credit or being age 60 with at least 10 years of service credit. Local school systems may employ a retiree as a full-time classroom teacher, principal, superintendent, media specialist or counselor. Georgia law specifically defines classroom teacher as a certified teacher (pre-K thru grade 12), employed by the public school system with the sole responsibility of academic instruction in a classroom. Extracurricular employment in addition to classroom teaching (i.e. coaching, athletic director, band director) is not eligible. Principals cannot return to work in the same positions in the same schools from which they retired and superintendents cannot return to work in the same position in the same school system from which they retired. Regional educational service agencies may still employ a retired teacher as an improvement specialist.

A school system employing a retiree must pay all employee and employer contributions to TRS as if the retiree was an active member of TRS. The retiree does not accrue any additional employment benefits or receive any further creditable service as a result of re-employment.

This return to work provision of Georgia law was originally scheduled to be repealed on June 30, 2016. However, passage of HB 208 by the 2012 Georgia General Assembly changes the repeal date to June 30, 2013.

If you are negotiating a return to work employment contract under the provisions outlined above, please note that this type of employment will no longer be allowable after June 30, 2013. Retirees who are currently under an employment contract which extends beyond June 30, 2013, will be required to terminate or suspend their TRS retirement benefit."
Zoltar

Dawsonville, GA

#41 Jan 19, 2013
I really don't have a problem when a retired teacher wants to continue working and continues to receive benefits.

However, I was hit on that hand with a ruler by a Walmart Greeter for not holding up my hand before I spoke. Turns out she was a retired teacher who couldn't let go of her former occupation. It hurt too!

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#42 Jan 19, 2013
Zoltar wrote:
I really don't have a problem when a retired teacher wants to continue working and continues to receive benefits.
However, I was hit on that hand with a ruler by a Walmart Greeter for not holding up my hand before I spoke. Turns out she was a retired teacher who couldn't let go of her former occupation. It hurt too!
I remember that ruler myself as a first grader in dalton many years ago. They probably don't use a ruler no more.

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