MERIDEN — Michael Mordarksi calls it his version of “Back to the Future.” After retiring as the city’s tax assessor in 2013, Mordarski was hired back as deputy tax assessor this year.
Mordarski is one of six city employees also receiving a city pension, according to Human Resources Director Marci Nogueira.
Mordarski was hired by the city in 1983 and was earning $106,163 a year when he retired as tax assessor in 2013. He was rehired on Aug. 21 and now makes a yearly salary of $70,699 in addition to his $5,557 monthly pension.
Mordarski, who has three adult children, said his monthly pension was not enough to support his family. He worked as a deputy tax assessor in Cromwell prior to returning to Meriden.
“The pension is decent but you can’t survive on it,” Mordarski said. “In the end it is not enough to pay a mortgage and car payment and car insurance and eat.”
Police records supervisor David Puska, who declined to comment for this story, was a city police officer from 1987 to 2007, earning $61,027 by the time he retired. He was rehired in 2007, working in the parking department before moving to the civilian records position, where he currently earns $54,142 a year while taking home a $4,049 monthly pension, which includes emoluments.
The city switched to a 401(k) contribution plan in 2011 and employees hired after that date currently earning pensions would not be able collect two city pensions at once when they become eligible for retirement. In theory, however, Noguiera said a former employee could be collecting two pensions.
Nogueira said she has not looked into whether any former employees are currently receiving two pensions, which could be the result of their own retirement and the pension of a deceased spouse.
City Manager Guy Scaife said it’s fairly common for current employees to be collecting pensions from the city.
“You hire the most qualified candidate and if they were the ones that met the qualifications, we’re not paying out any more, we’re not paying out any less,” Scaife said. “If people qualify they qualify no different if they were retired from Boeing or Walmart and now happen to be employed at the city.”
Scarpati said the issue is worth looking at from a policy perspective.
“I think it warrants us taking a second look at it,” Scarpati said. “I think it’s worth a conversation.”
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