By SARAH WEBER
The Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport Board voted unanimously last week to allow airport director Jack Stables to retire and come back in the same position.
Stable, 67, said the move is intended to allow him to collect on retirement for which he's already paid income tax.
He said when the previous director set up airport employee accounts with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, he made it so they would pay out income tax every year. Typically, Stables said, income tax should not come out until after a person retires.
In speaking with retirement system personnel, Stables learned that he could collect the income tax back after he retires, but only over a 260-month period.
"I wish I was going to be around for another 20-30 years, but I'm not," he said.
By retiring now and retaining his position at the airport, Stables said he can collect some of the money he paid into the system while keeping his job.
"I love this airport," he said. "There aren't many people who can say they love their jobs."
He said he has no plans to leave his job at the airport anytime soon. He will retire June 1 and be rehired in the same position that day.
Stables has worked as the airport director for 10 years, and previously served in public positions on and off for the past 30 years.
Prior to the board's decision, Ottawa County Commissioner Jim Sass asked if there were any drawbacks to taxpayers.
Stables said it would financially not affect anyone but him.
"The airport benefits by getting Jack back with the knowledge that he has," said Erie County Commissioner Bill Monaghan at the meeting.
Stables said he would continue to pay into retirement, with a county match, on his $51,500 per year salary. That money would go into an annuity that's untouchable until he leaves the position.
One resident at the meeting complained not enough notice was given about the meeting or the change.
Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan said legally the airport only had to post notices in the county courthouse. He said Stables' move to retire and then be rehired in the same position was legal.