BELMONT COUNTY Commissioners have been given their marching orders. They come via a triumvirate of heavy hitters.
Commissioners received a court order from the Northern, Eastern and Western division court judges. The order is calling for their court employees to be elevated to full-time status.
Currently, the employees for the three courts are paid for 70 hours over a two-week span. Judges Frank Fregiato (Northern), John Vavra (Eastern) and Eric Costine (Western) are asking the commissioners to bump those workers pay to 80 hours.
The judges say that their extra work qualifies them for the additional hours of reimbursement. We have faith that if three highly respected and honorable public servants believe such a change is needed, so be it. They would not be frivolous with taxpayers' money.
Furthermore, we do not understand why those court employees are currently limited to 70-hour pays while their counterparts in the juvenile, probate and common pleas courts are slotted in for 80.
The courts in Belmont County are a beehive of activity. Their caseloads are busting at the seams, often times with seedy clientele.
The work conducted inside the halls of justice is of utmost importance. We agree with the judges: the extra five hours of pay a week are justified.
The commissioners' decision is an easy one. Should they not approve the bump in hours, they face legal ramifications come June 1.
So while the hour-spike is being mandated, it is a well-deserved one.