Commissioners approve economic development partnership

Two county clerks are seeking a creative way to receive a raise, that wasn’t included in the county’s 2020 budget. 

Justice of the Peace No. 3 clerk Lori Ashworth and JP 4 clerk Amanda Bohack approached the Walker County Commissioners Court on Monday in an effort to reward clerks across the county who receive master certification. The request was for an additional $1,800 in pay funded through the Justice Court Assistance and Technology fund.

The fund, which awards the county with $1 of a $4 fee collected for all Class D misdemeanors, can now be used to finance salary and benefits for court personnel, thanks to a change to the funds usage in the 86th Texas Legislative Session. According to Justice of the Peace Mark Holt (Pct. 3), the fund generates an average of $5,000 per year, with its main usage for funding technology purchases for the court. However, Holt noted that that fund will likely increase as the population increases.

“The fund is used for anything technology related to the courts,” county auditor Patricia Allen said. “However, this would be setting a precedence for certification pay, which we currently do not have in the county.”

“I don’t like opening a door for an employee to say ‘hey I have a certification so I should get a raise,’” Commissioner Bill Daugette (Pct. 3) said.

The court asked for the JP’s to bring the request back in a future session.

Other action taken by the Walker County Commissioners Court on Monday included:

• approved the order or renewal for 16 yearly contracts.

• approved a resolution authorizing a county grant program under Texans Feeding Texans.

The next scheduled meeting of the Walker County Commissioners Court is set for September 16 at 1:30 p.m.

 

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