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.    


Man Charged With 2000 Murder In East Ridge Is Returned To Chattanooga

A man charged in a murder in East Ridge that happened over 16 years ago has been returned to Chattanooga. Jason Kirk Sanford, who is now 43, is set to appear in the courtroom of Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz on Sept. 8. Sanford, who had moved to Westland, Mich., is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2000 death of Sarah Lea Davis Perry. Ms. Perry was 21 ... (click for more)

Raymond Facing Multiple Charges After Car Break-In At Rainbow Lake Parking Area

Kenneth Edward Raymond is facing multiple charges after a car was broken into at the Rainbow Lake parking area. James Bryan Miller was also charged. Raymond, 47, of 6719 Hickory Trace Circle, is charged with burglary of an auto, vandalism over $500, identity theft, attempted theft over $500, four counts of theft under $500, three counts of attempted theft under $500, and seven ... (click for more)

Jonathan Welch Is To Be Commended For His Leadership On The School Board

Dr. Jonathan Welch has faithfully served the Hamilton County Board of Education, representing District 2, for the last four years. He ends his time on the school board as chairman, a role he stewarded well during a tumultuous time in our school system as we prepared to search for a new superintendent.  Jonathan has served our school system and represented ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Georgia’s Weak Attacked

The United States Attorney’s Office and our nation’s Justice Department just thrust an unwelcomed spear into the heart of the state of Georgia. And while I am scared to death the same war party is now headed into Tennessee and other states, I wish the DOJ had stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and a quick visit at our Orange Grove Center before filing last Tuesday’s lawsuit against ... (click for more)

Lookouts' Bullpen Failure Leads To Come-From-Behind Win For Suns Sunday

The Lookouts were in control of  Sunday  afternoon's game up until the eighth and ninth inning when the M-Braves scored three runs to beat Chattanooga, 5-4. Chattanooga's offense jumped out to an early lead after being sparked by leadoff hitter Zach Granite. Granite started the home half of the first with a base hit to right field, danced on and off of first base ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Sweeps Chattanooga Classic

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team completed their fourth 3-0 sweep of the weekend on Sunday afternoon against California State at Fullerton as part of the Chattanooga Classic – presented by Hampton Inn & Suites - held in Maclellan Gym. The Mocs came out swinging by winning the first set 25-11 and then went on to win 25-18 and 25-17 in sets two and three, respectively. ... (click for more)