The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 217-7939.
FIRE/RESCUE FIREFIGHTERS -- The council voted 4 to 3 to allow some firefighters to receive a special pension if they decide to retire early.
The bill passed Tuesday stems from a decision last fall to transfer the system's 700 career firefighters from volunteer-controlled corporations to the county. The county attorney has since ruled that the firefighting positions in the corporations could be considered terminated, entitling some to a special pension for discontinued service. The county attorney said that although the firefighters were being rehired by the county, some could choose early retirement, not be rehired by the county and receive pensions as if their positions had been cut by the corporations. Firefighters would have to meet various requirements to qualify for the pensions.
Council president Michael L. Subin and council members Rose Crenca, Michael L. Gudis and Isiah Leggett voted in favor of the pension payments, while council members Bruce Adams, William E. Hanna Jr. and Neal Potter opposed them, saying that firefighters should not be eligible for the payments.
MERIT SYSTEM PROTECTION BOARD -- The council appointed Paul Corcoran of Silver Spring to a three-year term on the county's Merit System Protection Board.
The board holds hearings and decides on issues affecting the employment status of merit system employees. It also conducts studies, audits the merit and retirement pay systems and reports its findings to the County Council and county executive. Board members receive $7,360 annually; the chairman, who is elected annually, receives $8,341.