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Published: Wednesday, 12/17/2008

Ottawa Hills manager retires, rehired

BY ANGIE SCHMITT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Ottawa Hills Manager Marc Thompson underwent a retirement in late October in order to begin collecting his state pension, returning to his position and his $100,737 salary without missing a day of work, The Blade has learned.

Under the pension plan, Mr. Thompson, 54, could be collecting as much as $66,408 annually in addition to his salary. He also receives $2,940 in additional compensation annually, he said.

On Oct. 10, after 17 years with the village, Mr. Thompson informed village council that he had accumulated 30 years of service in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. He announced he would be retiring, but hoped to continue working as village manager.

My 17-year employment with the village of Ottawa Hills has exceeded my expectations both personally and professionally, Mr. Thompson wrote in a letter to Mayor Kevin Gilmore. It is my intention to begin working after the Oct. 31, 2008 retirement date.

On Oct. 13, village council members met in a public hearing required by the Public Employees Retirement System. At the recommendation of the mayor, councilmen approved his rehiring unanimously, Judy Hayden, assistant village administrator, said.

Mr. Thompson retired effective at 5 p.m. Oct. 31. His reappointment was effective Nov. 1. He was awarded the same salary and benefits, without interruption.

Ottawa Hills Mayor Kevin Gilmore said that the village was eager to retain Mr. Thompson. The mayor praised the village manager for his fiscal prudence and people skills.

Marc has been a great, great manager, Mr. Gilmore said. He had opportunities to go many places. He could have named his ticket anywhere in Ohio.

In a letter to Mr. Thompson dated Aug. 20, Mr. Gilmore stated, Your performance in our 17 years of service with the village has been exceptional. Therefore, I believe the best interest of the village of Ottawa Hills will be served if you continue in your current position after your Oct. 31, 2008 retirement.

Mr. Gilmore defended the village s decision in a phone interview last week, saying Mr. Thompson was operating within the guidelines of Ohio law in regards to the public pension plan.

The state of Ohio allows people after they hit their 30 years to retire, he said. He s playing under the rules of the state.

He added: We d rather have him than have him go somewhere else.

Prior to his employment in Ottawa Hills, Mr. Thompson worked at two municipalities in the Dayton area and one in the Ashtabula area.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:aschmitt@theblade.comor 419-724-6104.



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