County commissioners approve hiring freeze

St. Joseph County’s board of commissioners Tuesday approved a resolution calling for a hiring freeze.

The mandate affects general-fund positions and takes effect immediately, according to commission chairman Allen Balog. He said it will remain in place as long as necessary and will be reviewed for continuation annually during the board’s budget process.

In addition, the county is offering for the first time an early-retirement incentive. Balog said 19 employees have been identified as eligible for the offer. Some of the positions will be replaced while others will not, Balog noted.

The measures come at a time that commissioners have put together the county’s 2018 budget. Its fiscal year starts Jan. 1 and a public hearing on the proposed budget has been set for Dec. 5.

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