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District court clerk getting raise

By Staff, 03/10/21 9:47 AM

PRESCOTT – District Judge Tony Yocom spoke to the Nevada County Quorum Court at its March meeting Tuesday, asking for a raise for his court clerk.

Yocom pointed out the Arkansas Legislature sets ranges for such positions when it comes to pay, and his clerk is considerably under the state minimum of $29,000. In fact, he told the court, she makes what her deputies makes but has more duties and responsibilities. He said she has a lot of reporting to do, handles a considerable amount of money, and supervises others. “It’s a busy job that requires knowledge of the software system and she does a great job.”

He reminded the court the county pays 60 percent of her salary while the city pays 40 percent, but there has bee no increase in years for the clerk, while her deputies have received raises. “It’s only fair she be paid more,” Yocom said. He informed the panel he’s already spoken with the City of Prescott about it and the city agrees she should get a raise. The mandatory minimum for the position, he said, is $29,000, whereas she’s currently making $22,800 a year. The county’s part would be $3,680 while the city would pick up the rest of the $6,120 increase.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings said it would be tight, but could be done. The court agreed and voted to approve the increase.

Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver said she has two clerks who’ve been with the county a long time and are only making minimum wage because the county doesn’t have the money.

Cummings and Nevada County Judge Mark Glass said there’s a bill in the legislature that could take such decisions out of the county’s hands and mandate the salaries of court clerks. The increase will go into effect on the next pay period.

In other business, Glass said a hearing was held on the Nubbin Hill bridge project last week with easements obtained to move the water line in the area. The city will do the work with the county paying for the boring and materials at a cost of roughly $11,000. The city will provide equipment and labor for the job, which shouldn’t take long once work begins.

An ordinance for illegal dumping and the ambulance contract with the county were both tabled until the April meeting.

County Agent Stacy Stone said things are picking up as a lot of people are coming in with soil samples and calling about shrubs. On the topic of shrubs, he said, people will have to wait and see as the weather warms up.

Oliver told the court a deputy in the circuit clerk’s office quit and needs to be replace. Rita Reyenga, she said, has someone in mind for the job, Beth St. Claire, and there should be no problem as the salary has already been budgeted. The court agreed and approved the measure.

The court also approved an ordinance transferring $21,616.92 from the Coronavirus emergency fund to jail salaries.