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202 workers to step down today

LAWRENCEVILLE - For weeks, retirement parties have dotted the calendars of county government workers.

Today is officially the last day for 202 county employees who accepted a retirement incentive, intended to trim the county's payroll.

While the retirements will eventually save the county $55.2 million over the next three years, they mean a lot of the county's most experienced and knowledgable employees will be gone.

"We're losing over 4,400 years of experience and institutional knowledge in one day," said Glenn Stephens, the county's new administrator. "We will miss the people themselves and the positive daily impact they have on our operations, but I have confidence that remaining employees will rise to the occasion and continue to provide superior county services to the citizens of Gwinnett."

Top executives, including Fire Chief Steve Rolader, Deputy County Administrator Mike Comer and Assistant County Administrator Lisa Johnsa accepted the retirement offer, and County Administrator Jock Connell has announced he will step down at the end of the year.