Trumbull County's Sheriff Tom Altiere and Prosecutor Dennis Watkins are retiring on Dec. 31, but they'll be right back at work in January.
They are the latest among a group of elected officials in Trumbull County who have retired and kept their elected offices.
Some people say it's a manipulation of the system that needs to be reformed - to collect public retirement benefits and remain on the public payroll - but it's a legal practice, so why not take advantage, which is what these nine elected officials are doing.
A public employee can retire after 30 years of service or with 25 years of service at age 55 or older, but with a reduced pension, under Ohio law.
But then they are free to return to work on the public payroll.
Elected officials who want to retire before the new term of that office begins are required by Ohio law to file a public notice with county boards of election no less than 90 days before the primary election for that office.
Nine people have done so, according to letters at the Trumbull County Board of Elections. They are and when they filed:
Pamela Rintala, Trumbull County Family Court judge, Dec. 7, 2011
Watkins, Dec. 6, 2011
Dan Polivka, Trumbull County commissioner, Dec. 5, 2011
Altiere, Nov. 28, 2011
Gregory V. Hicks, Warren law director, July 13, 2011
David N. Griffing, Warren auditor, June 1, 2011
Ralph Infante, Niles mayor, Dec. 1, 2010
W. Wyatt McKay, Trumbull County Common Pleas Court judge, Sept. 10, 2009
Thomas P. Gysegem, Warren Municipal Court judge, Feb. 6, 2007
Rintala, Watkins, Polivka and Altiere won re-election in November. Commissioners last week appointed Altiere and Watkins ''acting'' sheriff and prosecutor because of the six day gap before the beginning of their new term on Jan. 7.
Polivka's term begins Jan. 3 and Rintala, Jan. 2.
These officials will continue to make the same contributions to their pension, but rather than adding time to their pension, the money is put into an annuity. When they retire again, they will receive the pension and the annuity.
The Mahoning County Democratic Party is greeting the new year with a new headquarters.
Party operations are shifting to a building at 4011 Hillman Way, just off Market Street near Midlothian Boulevard in Boardman.
Party chairman David Betras said the new building will provide more parking and space for campaign workers. Also, the new building, he said, is better for running campaigns and the rent is about half of what the party paid for the building on Mahoning Avenue, which was about $1,000 a month.