Last updated: October 16. 2013 11:24AM - 1229 Views
By - mstrother@civitasmedia.com

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Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request from the elections office to move one clerk from part time to full time and hire a state court reporter.

The staff of the Registrar’s office are in charge of maintaining voter records and registration throughout the year. Since January, the office also has been tasked with preparing for and overseeing elections with the oversight of the Board of Elections and Registration.

Sherry Ratliff, elections supervisor, told commissioners at Friday’s County Commission work session that her office was working with about half the staff positions as previous elections, when staff from the Probate Court worked on elections. Early voting for the current municipal elections began Monday.

The employee has been with the office for four years, gone through training for the current system and currently works to input new voters and delete old voters from the registration system, as well as type letters, answer phones and general maintenance of the registration records, Ratliff said. Under the change the employee will get $10.78 per hour, which is a $1.10 per hour raise, and option for health benefits.

Ratliff said the HR department calculated the move would cost an additional $13,161.33 to cover the additional costs for the current year and $19,742.01 for subsequent years. Ratliff believed there may be enough excess funds in the elections and registration budget to cover the change, but it would require a budget amendment.

Commissioners on Tuesday also approved hiring a full-time court reporter for the state court, who would share duties with juvenile court. The court currently contracts with the reporter on as-needed basis for $190.08 per day plus $80 per month for expenses, but Judge Jeanette Little said the reporter was looking for a full-time position.

If not hired by Troup County, the reporter would seek a full-time position elsewhere, and Little was afraid to lose, “frankly, the best court reporter I’ve ever had.” Little said having the reporter on a full-time basis also would help with scheduling, especially for pleas when the court needs to convene on short notice.

The proposed salary for the court reporter was about $30,000 with a total cost including benefits in future fiscal years to be a total $46,578 annually. The budgeted amount to spend for the court reporter in state court this fiscal year was $28,500, amended to a total $32,277 expected expense at the end of the fiscal year due to the position change.

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