Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on Friday announced a voluntary buyout program for Metro employees.
"This incentive program gives our department heads additional flexibility to reassess personnel needs and look for savings," Dean explained in a release, adding, "Just as major corporations use retirement incentive plans to improve their business, this program provides Metro a unique opportunity to better position our departments to serve Nashville residents in the years to come."
Legislation filed Friday will go before the Metro Civil Service Commission at its meeting November 13. The plan will go before the Metro Council for its first reading on November 20.
About 1,590 Metro employees will be eligible to participate in the program.
Tommy Lynch is one of them. He has been with the Parks Department for over 41 years.
"I started in a community center when I was in college. I've worked in various jobs inside the department and now I'm the director," said Lynch.
Eligible employees will receive a retirement incentive of $700 for each year of credited service with Metro.
"Oh, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't take a look at the plan," said Lynch.
But the longtime Metro employee says he has no plans of leaving the department.
"Unless my wife tells me differently, I'm planning on staying," said Lynch.
Employees who opt for the retirement incentive are not eligible to return to full-time employment with Metro.
Employees have until January 18 to accept the buyout and must leave Metro government by February 28.
The plan includes a provision to defer some retirements until June 30 for police, fire and other services related to public welfare and safety.
In the short term, the program will be cost neutral to the Metro government.
The cost of incentive payments will be recovered as some positions are abolished due to efficiencies gained through reorganization.
Additional savings will occur over time as departments operate with fewer and less senior-level employees.