By Clyde Black
Last week, in pursuit of my real job, I went before Commissioners Court to seek promotions for the two clerks in the Justice of the Peace office. It’s that time of the year when all county offices start preparing for the next year’s budget. Once again, it’s been made clear that there will probably not be any pay raises. I’ve been led to believe that supervisors should try to take up for their folks so I went to ask for promotions. These promotions would not include any higher salary for the upcoming year but simply raise their potential earnings cap. Currently they are considered clerks in pay grade 17. A simple promotion would consider them court coordinators in pay grade 20.
There are currently two court coordinators in the county. One works for the District Court and the other for the County Court. Basically, I pointed out that the JP clerks already earn mid-level pay grade 20 salary and they do every bit as much court coordinating as the two in the big courthouse. I provided a couple of pages listings their current duties and reminded the commissioners that they bring in a large percentage of the county’s income. Hopefully, the commissioners will agree and I left the meeting.
Lo and behold, a couple of days later I see my picture on the front page of the Messenger with a story about the meeting by Sarah Naron, a Messenger reporter! I’m not very pleasing to the eye so I don’t blame her for photographing my back. She wrote a great article and our clerks in the JP office got a big thrill that she took the time to further mention and discuss their plight. As I read the story and thought about what I could have better with my presentation, I realized that those two other coordinators get to work for trained attorneys and judges. In other words they don’t have to train new judges.
JP clerks get untrained back-woods boys and gals that have no idea what they’re doing. They must be trained and that’s a huge job for the clerks. They do that while at all times being respectful to the judge even knowing they could do a better job! I hope our clerks get a well-deserved promotion and I really appreciate the nice article by Sarah Naron. Lord, please continue to help and bless us!