County Commission Unanimous In Denying Longevity Pay For Magistrate Ables

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The County Commission voted 8-0 on Wednesday to deny longevity pay for Magistrate Larry Ables. Commissioner Fred Skillern is recuperating from back surgery and was absent.

Magistrate Ables, when he recently was replaced as chief magistrate by Randy Russell, requested longevity pay based on his higher pay in the chief position.

Chairman Larry Henry said that brought on a discussion of whether the magistrates are even entitled to longevity pay.

County employees get longevity pay after five years of service under the county handbook.

Mr. Ables recently completed five years as a magistrate.

However, Commissioner Joe Graham said the magistrates operate on a year-to-year basis. He said, "I don't see how anybody can build up any longevity pay if it's year to year. They are on a contract for a year, then they continue if they can get enough votes for a new contract."

Chairman Henry said the commission had never dealt with the longevity issue for magistrates and needed to make a ruling.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said compensation of the magistrates is under the purview of the commission and they are not under the county employee handbook.

Magistrates make $61,443 per year, and the chief gets $66,443.

Commissioner Greg Beck said the request by Magistrate Ables had raised a number of questions about the magistrate program.

He said, "I am beginning to think of the workability of the program. We have got a lot of judges over there and a lot of time."

He added, "I think we can start taking a look at the possibilities for the future."

There are four magistrates, who set bonds and sign warrants at the county jail. Their main focus is nights and weekends.    


Parts Of Riverpark Temporarily Closed Due To Rainfall

Parts of the Riverpark are temporarily closed due to rainfall. They include the entire trail behind Chattanooga State, a ll fishing piers, the main boat ramp and trail near the boat ramp. Access to South Chickamauga Creek from Lost Mound is flooded beneath the Amnicola Highway Bridge and the trail is closed in that area. From the Rowing Center (Citgo Creek Bridge) to Manker ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Brutal Attack On Girlfriend Is Now Charged With Warning Her Not To Come To Court

A Soddy Daisy man charged with a brutal attack on his girlfriend is now charged with warning her not to come to court. Michael Scott Strader, 30, is charged with coercion of a witness. He earlier was charged with attempted second-degree murder after his girlfriend said he attacked her with his fists, a beer can, a fork, windshield wiper fluid,a brick and a heavy barbell. ... (click for more)

No Tax-Supported Entity Should Get Secrecy In Spending

A shadowy situation has emerged in Chattanooga with an organization that manages millions of taxpayer dollars with no transparency and such a surprising disregard for accountability that one wonders what it would take to wake up elected officials who are supposedly in charge. Welcome to the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose lawyer threatened to sue the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Genius Comes This Way

They claim that about 50 years ago there was this special night at the Tivoli Theater. The “Jewel of the South” had been sold out for weeks and about 45 minutes before Louis Armstrong, or whoever, was to appear, incomparable John Robere had pulled out all the stops on “The Mighty Wurlitzer” and the excitement was keen. This tuxedoed dandy – he was even wearing spats – escorted his ... (click for more)

Lookouts Double Header Cancelled Sunday Due To Heavy Rains

The Lookouts have announced that Sunday's(4/23) double-header has been postponed due to inclement weather, unplayable field conditions and impending forecast.   The team will make up these contests as part of two double headers, one  on Monday  and one  on Tuesday .  Both double headers will start at  5:15 p.m.  and will consist of ... (click for more)

UTC Track Completes In War Eagle Invitational

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Haley Morris (Lenoir City, Tenn.) topped her personal best in the women’s 3000 meter Steeplechase over the weekend at the War Eagle Invitational.   Morris finished fourth in the steeplechase with a time of 11:48.74, edging her previous top time set in the finals of the 2016 Southern Conference championships.   Also ... (click for more)