The past 12 months have been something of a whirlwind at Riverside Village Hall. Key director-level employees including the police chief, deputy police chief, public works director and community development director have either retired or resigned to seek positions elsewhere.

Other important – and it turns out not so early replaced – employees, such as a veteran building inspector also retired with no heir apparent waiting in the wings. Coupled with a comprehensive realignment of the village hall staffing that saw the community development department placed under the direction of a new assistant village manager and the consolidation of the police and fire departments into a single public safety unit, there have been a lot of moving parts.

With the prospect of other veteran employees retiring in coming years, the village board on Nov. 18 adopted a resolution that offers prospective retirees a financial incentive to stay on a bit longer and help train their replacements.

“For a seamless transition, it is in the best interest to have the new staff member with a short overlap of the retiree,” wrote Finance Director Karin Johns in a Nov. 18 memo to the village board. “This allows for personalized training and eliminates the expense of filling with temporary staff or overtime.”

While Johns’ memo calls out past and impending retirements as a primary reason to offer the incentive, it’s not limited to those retiring and may be more useful in preventing abrupt departures of experienced employees for positions elsewhere.

In order to be eligible for the incentive, the employee can be either full-time or permanent part-time who is either retiring with a police or IMRF pension, has worked with the village at least five years and is separating with the village on good terms.

The departing employee must provide a minimum of three months (or 12 weeks) for the transition. Full-timers will be paid $750 for the three-month notice, plus $100 per additional month, not to exceed $1,050. Permanent part-timers would be paid $400 for the three month cushion, plus $50 per additional month, not to exceed $550.

The incentive payment is to be paid in a lump sum one month after the employee’s final paycheck, and the employee isn’t allowed to return to village employment within a year unless it’s in a temporary, short-term capacity.