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County retirement amended to include former admin; Whaler to draw early at reduced rate

By Stewart Voegtlin

stewart@jacksonprogress-argus.com

The Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to amend the retirement package to allow for former County Administrator Van Whaler to draw early retirement at a reduced rate.

County Administrator Alan White asked the Board to approve the resolution; Board Vice Chairman Roger McDaniel made a motion to adopt and Commissioner Gator Hodges seconded McDaniel's motion.

Whaler served as county administrator twice -- once as a contractual employee and once as a traditional county employee.

The Board dissolved the retirement benefit package for future commissioners last March.

Butts County initially adopted a retirement plan for county employees in 1986. State legislation approved a law allowing Georgia counties to extend retirement benefits to constitutionally elected officials in 1989.

The Board of Commissioners, in 1993, approved a resolution to include elected officials in its county retirement plan.

"I want this to be very clear," Board Chairman Mitch McEwen said. "I've been asked many times about the retirement plan. It was started in 1992 because commissioners were said to be Butts County employees."

McEwen's list of vested commissioners in the retirement plan consists of: Fred Head, Jimmy Moore, Russ Crumbley, Harry Marett, Gerald Kersey, Grover McIntyre, Eddie Travis, and the current Board.