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Evans Local Government

As Evans Hospital Pleads for Cash, Circuit Superior Judges Seek Raise

As some members of the community works are pleading for Commissioners to find a way to keep Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton from closing its doors, the Superior Court Judges in the Atlantic Judicial Circuit say they are due a raise, too.

This judicial circuit includes Bryan, Evans, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, and Tattnall counties.

As some members of the community works are pleading for Commissioners to find a way to keep Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton from closing its doors, the Superior Court Judges in the Atlantic Judicial Circuit say they are due a raise, too.

The line item is on the agenda for the Evans County Commission meeting Tuesday evening. The Board of Commissioners will consider a letter received February 27th from Superior Court Judge Jay Stewart detailing the request for a supplemental pay increase.

In his letter dated February 26th, Judge Stewart first requests that the county move to a local legislation structure for payment of Superior Court Judges, of which there are four. The move, Stewart says, is at the recommendation of the Office of Administrative Courts and the Council of Superior Court Judges. He asks that the Commissioners pen a letter of support to state lawmakers, expressing that the county has no objection to the pay local legislation or the salary supplement increase.

Supplemental appropriations are paid by county governments from general fund monies in addition to the minimum salary schedule set by the state legislature. Commissioners have the authority to object to the local legislation. 

The Atlantic Judicial Circuit, which includes Bryan, Evans, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, and Tattnall counties, pays each Superior Court Judge an extra $30,000 annually on top of the state set salary.

According to OpenGeorgia.Gov, Atlantic Judicial Circuit judges were paid as follows:

  • Judge Glen Cheney – $132,264.96 (+ $6,617.70 in travel reimbursements)
  • Judge Robert Russell – $132,264.96 (+ 8,848.59 in travel reimbursements)
  • Judge Charles P. Rose – $132,264.96 (+ $5,791.45 in travel reimbursements)
  • Judge Jay Stewart – $132,264.96 (+6,455.36 in travel reimbursements)

Each then received the $30,000 supplement for a total of $162,264 in FY 2019.

The letter doesn’t include how much the increase would account for all four judges on an annual basis, only that Evans County would be responsible for an additional $141.30 per month per judge while Liberty, the largest county in the circuit, would pay an additional $580 per month per judge if the local legislation is approved.

Evans County’s monthly increase would be $565.20 per month for all of the Superior Court Judges, or another $6,782.20 each year. 

The total supplement increase for the combined counties is $1,575 per month per judge, or $6,300 per month across the judicial circuit. The increase would mean a $75,600 increase for the year for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit judges.

Stewart’s letter was accompanied by draft legislation, meaning at least one of the Superior Court judges had already contacted a lawmaker about drafting legislation, notably before commissioners considered the pay increase.

The letter also compared the Atlantic Judicial Circuit to the Ogeechee, Brunswick, and Waycross Judicial Circuits and said the proposal would bring the Atlantic Judicial Circuit “closer in line with our sister circuits.” Those documents are below. 

The next county commission meeting is set for Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 6:30 PM.

Stewart_Superior Court Judge Supplement

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Robin Nelson

    March 1, 2020 at 7:56 am

    That’s typical of “OUR” government!!!
    Always worried about themselves and NOT the “PEOPLE” that reside in their town. That’s what’s wrong with Our once great nation, we quit being communities and friends all over this world and are becoming enemies with each other. Nobody looks out for one another instead they stab backs and cut throats, it makes sense now because. We follow what we see!!! A Nation that once was “UNITED” has deteriorated!!! America started to really pay attention to Our Police Officers, Judges, Council People, Senators, and President and clearly see the double standards, the cover ups, the damn LIES etc. Communities and Towns became divided, (we have stooped to the level of going back to the past instead of thriving towards our future) with racism becoming an issue, people of all ages and walks of life killing each other, churches becoming prisons, kidnappings, rapes, child molestations, I mean seriously the list goes on and on!!! Look back 20 yrs ago and tell me you can’t see where our government has “EVOLVED” our once great nation into the pits of hell!!! We need to reunite our towns and communities and make America great again! I say piss on their damn raises because they make 3 to 4 times more then most average Americans as it is!!! That money should instead be going towards what matters….
    Our Communties….Our Towns….

    ** this is only my opinion and how I feel about our once great nation. I am not in any way disrespecting any person in any government position but only suggesting you take a look at the world you are creating! Think about others and the impact you are making with what “We the People” are Paying attention to!!! You have the power to make a positive difference or completely deteriorate!!
    God Bless each and every one 🙏🏼

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