CLEVELAND -- City Council President Marty Sweeney is "retiring" from his council position post and will start collecting his pension.

Sweeney is becoming a so-called "double-dipper" because of recent changes in the Public Employees Retirement System, effective Jan. 1.

Sweeney is doing this to make sure he has access to healthcare .

He purchased five-plus years of service that he would lose if he did not take this step.

"I would not be eligible for healthcare benefits until I am 60 years old if I did not do this," he said.

Sweeney has 31 years of public service and could have made this move last year.

By not doing so then, he forfeited an annual three percent cost of living increase in his retirement.

Sweeney is now 50 years old. He will be sworn in and be back on council next year.

He will be replaced as council president next year by Kevin Kelley.

Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland will serve as council president for the remainder of the year when no business is expected to be transacted.

Sweeney has been on Council 17 years and has been Council president for eight years.

There is speculation he may run the 14th District state representative seat soon to be vacated by Mike Foley, who is term-limited out.

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