Tony Holloway to be Sworn-in as Police Chief Tonight
Approval May, or May Not, Be Made at Tonight's Council Meeting
By Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - A new era will start for the Clearwater Police Department when, for the first time in 29 years, the Chief will be someone other than Sid Klein. Anthony "Tony" Holloway will be sworn-in as Clearwater's next Chief of Police at tonight's City Council meeting.
Holloway started his career in law enforcement as a Clearwater patrol officer in 1986 and rose through the ranks until he retired as a Captain in 2007. He then became police chief in Somerville, Mass., a city of 77,000 outside Boston.
Holloway will be accepting a substantial salary cut to return to Clearwater. His annual pay, as reported by the Somerville News, was $161,000 in Massachusetts. Holloway will be earning $119,000 plus benefits as Chief of the Clearwater Police, a reduction of $42,000 annually.
Asked why he was willing to accept the pay cut to take the Clearwater Chief of Police position, Holloway said, "It's two things, being able to come back to the police department where I started my career, and being able to come back to live with my wife."
In addition, Holloway's income in Somerville was bolstered by $54,308 in annual pension payments, a benefit he earned during his prior 22 years of service to Clearwater.
Clearwater will not be suspending Holloway's pension as he resumes city employment, allowing him to collect both his annual $119,000 salary and $54,308 retirement check. "Because he has been gone for two years, Chief Holloway is treated as a new hire at the SAMP 6 level. Our pension ordinance does not permit employees hired at that level to participate in the pension so he continues to draw his [City of Clearwater Employees' Pension Fund] pension," said Joelle Castelli, Clearwater's Director of Public Communications.
It is common practice in the private sector that if a retiree is rehired, the employer suspends payment of the retirement benefit for the duration of his re-employment, but that's not the policy in Clearwater. Asked if he would have accepted the Chief job if Clearwater suspended his retirement check, Holloway said, "I would have weighed it at the time, but I couldn't answer that question now."
While continuing to collect a retirement check from his first stint as a Clearwater employee, Holloway will be enrolled as a new participant in the City of Clearwater Money Purchase Pension Plan, a 401a defined contribution plan which the city will fund with 8-percent of Holloway's annual compensation, or $9,520.
Holloway's annual income from the city, including salary and Clearwater pension, will total $173,308, making him the city's top earner, exceeding even Bill Horne whose annual salary as City Manager is $160,804.
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