New Judge?

At last Monday's commission meeting, General Sessions Judge, Rex Dale, addressed the commission for the need to establish a second general sessions court for Loudon County. Dale maintained that the case load was such that a new court was necessary. Only state legislation can establish a new court through a private act which would need to be adopted by the county commission.

Dale's request for a new court quickly hit opposition from several commissioners mostly due to the cost of establishing the new court. The current annual budget for the one general sessions court is $285,083.00. The new court would cost essentially the same. The additional court would require a property tax increase to provide funding.

Even more problematic in the idea of creating a new court would be the office of General Sessions Court Clerk, Lisa Niles. Niles currently has a law suit against the county demanding two hundred thousand more dollars to operate her current offices. She has made it very clear that she can not manage her current work load. Just imagine what her demands would be if she had to handle any additional work.

As just one commissioner, I certainly can't say that Mr. Dale won't some day get a new judge but at this point I sure can't see how it would be financially possible.

As a foot note, Loudon County already spends more than eight million dollars per year on "Public Safety" and our judicial system.

Circuit Court Clerk $373,300.00
General Sessions Clerk $514,540.00
General Sessions Judge $285,083.00
Chancery Court $224,246.00
Judicial Commissioners $131,437.00
Juvenal Court $321,234.00
Sheriff $4,325,652.00
Jail $2,015,663.00