Fine collection moving from Sheriff to State Court @ LCC 2013-08-26

Could you have guessed what this was about from the agenda item? Why do we the taxpayers of this $130,000 or $173,000 have to guess? They vote tonight about what was proposed at the 26 August 2013 Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

6.c. Budget Adjustment — Personnel Costs

Judge John Kent Edwards Jr. explained that many of the people going through his court or paying fines in Lowndes County don’t live here; they come off of I-75. The Sheriff’s office, in attempting to comply with state law, decided it didn’t want to continuing handling fines. There’s a piece of new legislation proposing to have the Clerk of Court process and retain all the relevant information; Judge Edwards thinks it will pass next year. This requires shifting funding from the Sheriff’s office to the Courts. But it will simplify processing (and presumably costs) by not having it go through both Sheriff and State Court. Meanwhile, Judge Edwards is not aware of any other county that still does this processing through the Sheriff’s department.

Here’s Part 1 of 2:


Fine collection moving from Sheriff to State Court Part 1 of 2:
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 August 2013.

County Manager Joe Pritchard said “you’ll note in your agenda item” (which the taxpaying public doesn’t get to see) that Sheriff Prine has made request “based upon his decision to no longer collect these citations” to make budget adjustments in both the Sheriff and Court budgets. Also some space adjustments, made by reducing size of law library, to make space for “these individuals to be able to collect these fines in the clerk’s office”, plus a security window still to do, and some computer equipment. He said “Judge Greene” (presumably Clerk of Court Beth C. Greene) had asked for four positions and the number who had been doing it had been three or four depending on the case.

Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know about the difference betweeen “173 and 130” and where it would come from. I’m guessing he’s talking about thousands of dollars.

Answer: County Manager Joe Pritchard said he’d guess any adjustments would come from the Sheriff’s budget.

Commissioner John Page asked if the Sheriff was aware of that.

Yes. “I’m not saying he’s happy….”

Here’s Part 2 of 2:


Fine collection moving from Sheriff to State Court Part 2 of 2:
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 August 2013.

-jsq

1 thought on “Fine collection moving from Sheriff to State Court @ LCC 2013-08-26

  1. Pingback: New judge, river gauge, park deed, personnel costs, and pest control @ LCC 2013-08-26 | On the LAKE front

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