Judicial layoffs to impact local court


While layoffs finalized last week around the 14th Judicial District look to miss Moffat County, an already depleted staff at the local courthouse could be asked to help fill manpower gaps elsewhere.

"It's likely Moffat County personnel will be asked to travel to Routt County to assist staff, but we haven't finalized anything yet," said Evan Herman, administrator for the 14th Judicial District.

Layoffs, early retirement and unfilled vacancies are just some measures Herman and others

look to implement as the district covering Moffat, Grand and Routt counties will be funded for

fiscal-year 2004 at 85 percent of current staffing levels.

Salary at full funding would run about $1.6 million, Herman said.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Herman said one clerk position in Routt County would be eliminated, in addition to one district-wide position while two-and-a-half clerk posts will remain unfilled.

"There will be a reduction in services (for the public)," Herman said. "There's no way we can continue to do all the things we were doing before."

Exactly what services would be cut hasn't been determined, he said.

"Public safety will not be sacrificed, but everywhere else we'll be looking for areas to reduce," Herman said.

Courts across the district in March began closing one hour early in the wake of staff shortages. Excluding December, clerks in each office have been forced to take one unpaid furlough day -- a measure that will continue through June.

Furloughs won't extend into the new fiscal year, Herman said.

However, impacts in Moffat County could be the same with the prospect of sending one staff member to Routt on a weekly basis, said Diana Meyer, clerk of Moffat County Combined Courts.

The situation is compounded in June with the last month of furlough and planned assistance to Routt, she said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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