Henderson’s Voluntary Employee Severance Program extended

The Henderson City Council approved an additional $5 million in funding Tuesday for the city’s Voluntary Employee Severance Program.

City officials said they expect this to be the last time they offer employees a chance to participate in the program, which uses one-time incentives to help workers make the transition to retirement or other employment.

“I’ve been greatly anticipating this agenda item,” City Manager Jacob Snow said before the council meeting.

The item also included further reductions to operating expenditures. Snow said he asked the city’s department heads to come up with ways to help balance the budget, and they worked as a team to suggest $1.5 million in cuts.

Snow said he expects the latest round of the severance program to bring the city “very close” to a balanced budget.

“We feel like we can’t be a premier organization unless we can have a balanced budget,” he said.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, 318 employees have left the city, and about 70 percent of the vacancies remain unfilled.

Fred Horvath, human resources director, said the program has saved the city more than $50 million in salary and benefits. He said 118 people have shown an interest in the latest offering.

Officials estimate the additional workforce cuts will save the city $2 million to $4 million in the first year.

Any of the city’s 1,806 full-time workers can participate in the program.

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