Herzog’s official retirement date is Oct.31, and he is signing a new five-year contract with the township.
MORE: Payroll Project shows West Chester Twp.’s top-paid employees
“It’s a program where everybody wins,” Herzog told the Journal-News of the retire/rehire classification offered through the Public Employees Retirement System. “I’m just looking to secure a future for my family as I continue on the twilight of my career. This is a program where the township saves money, the retirement system saves money and the employee is able to take advantage of those savings by retiring and coming back at a lower rate.”
Trustee George Lang said he is very much in favor of the retire/rehire program. He said the chief will take a 10 percent pay cut and his benefits will also be reduced because he will now be considered a new employee.
Together, the savings to taxpayers will be about $25,000 a year, according to trustees.
The township will also retain an employee who has institutional knowledge of the department, according to Lang.
“The bottom line is Chief Herzog contains a tremendous amount of intellectual capital and in the business world, intellectual capital is virtually priceless,” he said. “This gives us a chance to transition in a way that everybody wins, including Chief Herzog.”
Lang said the township will save about $18,000 for salary and benefits and $8,400 on accrued leave pay.
Trustee Board President Mark Welch concurred with Lang even though he said he once shared Wong’s feelings on retire/rehire.
“I did campaign on no retire/rehire, but I like to think I’m a guy of logic,” he said. “And I like to separate the fact from the fiction… The agreement says he’s going to work for another five years, but Chief Herzog is so young, fit and good looking who knows, he may stay another five years beyond that, and we’d love to have him because we want to have that intellectual property.”