City continues search for new magistrate
by Rachel Davis
May 30, 2013 | 1612 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OAKMAN — A called council meeting in Oakman on Wednesday night allowed the council the opportunity to look over the four applications received so far for the city’s open magistrate position. The council also discussed its desire to find someone with previous experience in the position, particularly due to the condition of the current records and files. Mayor Dennis Welch said that some records appeared to be missing or nonexistent, and the others are in “disarray.”

The city will not have court in the month of June, all cases slated for June will be rescheduled for July.

As before, the council and mayor expressed a great deal of frustration over the condition of the court records and the function of the court itself.

“I’m tired of talking about it,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harvey said. “It’s been seven or eight months and we haven’t dealt with the court, it’s time to do something.”

The council chose last week at its regular meeting to not retain or reappoint the magistrate as part of a campaign to overhaul the city’s troubled court system.

A letter from the Alabama Peace Officer Annuity and Benefit Fund, which is suppose receive a portion of court proceeds, said that they received $10 on May 6 as payment for the January court date but had received no money or reports for February through May.

The council hopes to find a candidate with experience in the field and hire them as soon as possible to begin rehabilitating the records and get the court system back on track.

The council also considered changing the employee insurance packages provided by the city due to increases in insurance premiums. The council ultimately decided to take no action on the insurance.

The changes to rates will take effect July 1.