Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Mason grants compensation for magistrate's extra duties



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Just weeks after a request for two part-time probation officers was withdrawn, City Council approved a minor staffing change for Mason Municipal Court.

To compensate for doing extra duties while the criminal magistrate position is vacant, the chief magistrate will be paid an additional $1,000 a month for no more than three months, according to the ordinance passed Monday night. The pay is retroactive to July 1, when the criminal magistrate position was vacated.

The chief magistrate makes $15,000 a year.

City Council approved the compensation without debate, though previous requests have been highly scrutinized. Council has repeatedly expressed concerns about increased spending since Judge George Parker took the bench in January 2002. Since then, 11 new court positions and several salary increases have been approved by council, although the most recent request, to add two probation officers, was withdrawn in June. Clerk of Court Bill Scherpenberg said the request was withdrawn to avoid a fight over outside issues.

The city police department also has scrutinized some of Parker's actions, including a recent court order that prompted the police department to take two beat officers off the street for surveillance of a theft suspect who lives in Hamilton County's Green Township.

Councilman Tom Grossmann said the court liaison committee had met with court staff, and said the court will make sure officers are in accord when are to be used as ex-officio bailiffs in the future.

Also Monday night, City Council created a position to staff a new competitive swimming program for the city. The year-round swim team would be in addition to the recreational team that swims at the outdoor pool.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Teen driving clinic founded on grief, hope
Safer roads: Teen drivers weigh in
Clinics teach safety for fledgling drivers
Senate has few Dems for Springer
Shooting of boy rattles 2nd Ward

IN THE TRISTATE
Empty feeling hurting College Hill
Pay raises proposed for public defenders
New shows added as Hamilton County Fair opens today
Picture of the day: Acoustic Lunch
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Smith-Amos: Over-the-Rhine task force needs more involvement
Howard: Some Good News
Crowley: Giuliani appearance to be open

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Flood victims hold off on lawsuit
Businesses on Ohio 4 object to makeover
Mason grants compensation for magistrate's extra duties
Prof: Resistance transcends Saddam
State stalls plans for BMV locations

OBITUARIES
William Groll, mechanic who loved boating

OHIO
Dance party swings for record
Injured-workers bill fine-tuned
Hearing today for seat on court
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
N.Ky. bishop's first year marked by crisis, grace
Dead wife's ex-lover testifies in day two of murder trial
Residents speak out on riverfront
Therapy program to host rodeo
Mall project alarms mobile home residents
New YMCA under way
Kentucky obituaries