“Overwhelmed” was the word newly elected Chief Magistrate Judge Ricky Silvers used to describe his feelings to Commissioners about the Gordon County Magistrate Court’s daily operations.
With a hefty caseload, training and hiring processes currently ongoing within the department, Silvers approached the board with a request to amend the department’s budget to include the position of full time magistrate judge and a second part time constable.
According to Silvers, neither the budget nor personnel would be affected by the change, in what he called a “swap out.”
“I am not increasing the employees at the office, I am just substituting one part time on call magistrate judge for a part time constable,” said Silvers to the board on Tuesday. “The only thing I am asking for is a full time magistrate.”
Commissioners however only approved the budget amendment to include the transition of part time assistant Magistrate Judge to a full time position. Silvers request for the constable was put off until a later time.
“We want to be conservative with the citizens money and we want to help you also,” Commissioner Steward explained to Silvers during the meeting.
Silvers agreed with the Commissioners that the constable position could wait until later in the year, however the office would still be “stretched thin.”
According to Silvers, his former position as full time Assistant Magistrate Judge was in the budget only week’s prior, but was cut at the beginning of the year when he assumed his newly elected position. The change would essentially replace Silvers, providing more help to the courts.
Also in the meeting, Gordon County Coroner James Carver submitted a request to the board to back an attempt for an increase in both he and two Deputy Coroner’s pay.
According to Carver, the $1,000 per year stipend he receives and the $175 per case stipend received by that of his Deputy Coroners, has not been revisited since 2001.
If the board backed Carver’s request, a formal letter stating their support would be referred to Representative John Meadows to introduce into the General Assembly for voting.
The increase would mean a $2,000 monthly stipend for Carver as Coroner and $300 per case for Deputy Coroners Heath Derryberry and Bo Nicholson.
The board agreed to announce their decision at a later board meeting.
Also on the agenda at the meeting: