CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council tonight will discuss establishing an early retirement incentive program. The voluntary program would assist eligible city employees who wish to retire but cannot do so because of medical insurance coverage concerns. To be eligible, participants would have to be current full-time or full-time equivalent employees who are age 56 or older and have not less than 25 years of continuous employment with the city. Those who would participate in the program at age 60 would remain up to five years or when they become Medicare eligible on the city’s group health insurance plan under a single policy. Employees can choose to continue family health coverage by paying the difference between the cost of the family plan and the city’s contribution toward a single coverage premium. An employee who retires prior to age 60 can utilize post-retirement accumulated paid leave conversion credit to pay health insurance premiums. If that would be insufficient to cover the cost of health insurance to the age of 60, the employee would be responsible for the full premium until age 60, at which point the premium for a single policy would be covered by the city.Eligible employees must retire from city employment between August 1st and September 30th of this year, with notice of intent to retire having to be filed prior to July 17th. The Clear Lake City Council meets tonight at 6 o’clock at City Hall.
In an effort to tackle the low levels of literacy among students, the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) is in the process of establishing Internet-ready Literacy Hubs in every community in the town in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).The Literacy Hubs are among a raft of initiatives, the newly-installed Council is hoping to complete by December 2018.Mayor Waneka Arrindell explained that a number of persons have already come on board. These include the Education Ministry, which has given its approval to commence the project. The One Mile School and Linden Care Foundation haveLinden Mayor Waneka Arrindellalready indicated their willingness to allocate spaces for the Hubs. Mayor Arrindell, who has a passion for children, noted that while the project may not be able to be completed in every community before her eight-month tenure was over, she was hoping that the majority would get started.She explained, “As a teacher, I have found that the level of literacy among our children is very low. There are children entering the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) class and do not know how to read. Children are in First Form and can’t read, and the teachers are not to be blamed. We don’t know the environment the children are living in, and so a curriculum is set for them to learn and so those who can, will and those who can’t, will not.”This project will especially target those children who are in difficult circumstances and cannot afford extra lessons. Mayor Arrindell added that the Council was now at the stage where it was seeking sponsors willing to support a child at a cost of $1000 per week. However, she said that all proceeds from the Mayor’s Ball, a highlight of the upcoming Linden Town Week activities on April 27, will go towards this project.The Mayor is encouraging businesses and other persons to get on board the initiative.