Maumee cuts court budget 18% - Tucson News Now

Maumee cuts court budget 18%

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MAUMEE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The city of Maumee has a balanced budget for 2014. In order to balance that $16.5 million budget, council made major cuts to funding of the Maumee Municipal Court.

The court will see an 18 percent decrease in funding. Maumee Municipal Court Judge Gary Byers says he sent a letter to council members, asking them to reconsider the cuts.

Council members unanimously approved the budget on Monday.

Council passes recommendations on what to cut along to Judge Byers. They suggest cutting six after-hours clerks, who provide 24 hour services for things such as warrants. City leaders say those services are not needed.

Judge Byers says the cuts will mean more work for other clerks. The court currently employs 24 clerks, who handle 9,000 to 10,000 cases per year.

"Those cases have to be processed whether we have those folks or not. So, if we aren't using the clerks that are assigned to do that we have to use the remaining clerks to fill that time. And they have to work overtime, then, which will increase costs and I'm afraid that by cutting these folks they won't actually realize and real savings for the city," said Judge Byers.  

Maumee Mayor Rich Carr says the court had the same number of clerks in 2001, when the court processed 41 percent more cases.

"I think you look at what you have come in, and are you spending it the best way for your residents? And I do not believe that staffing our court 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when not one other suburban court does it, is the best way to use our money. And I would much rather we have additional police officers on the street than to operate the way that is," said Mayor Carr.

The city's recommendations are not set in stone. Judge Byers can cut whatever he wants, so long as he meets the budget constraints set by council.

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