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COUNTY REPORT: THE HIGH COST OF DISABILITY

Voices

December 15, 1996

'The board is disturbed about having to grant disability pensions in many instances. But their hands are tied. The law is the law.'

Van Perris, manager of the county's retirement system

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'In public safety, you are specifically required to perform all functions of the job. We need to have the ability to have available physically fit manpower to deal with the needs of the department.'

Richard Rodriguez, Sheriff's Department chief deputy

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'If a person is legitimately injured and can't perform the duties of the job, we can't let them stay here because of the high demands. They have to be able to perform a full range of duties, including putting out fires.'

James Sewell, fire chief

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'Obviously, I'm concerned about the costs. We have a sufficient problem, and we need to take some steps to try and rectify it. We have to find ways to reduce the number of people disabled on the job.'

Frank Schillo, county supervisor

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'In my opinion--and I'm speaking as a taxpayer and not a former board member--we shouldn't have double dippers. If you've got a disability retirement and you go on to another job, then I think there should be something kept back.'

Ken Oeschalger, former member of the county retirement board

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