During the January 12th meeting of the County Council, Superior Court III Judge Matt Sarber sent a letter to explain his request for a $5,000 stipend for the Drug Court Coordinator which is under the Community Corrections Grant. 

During last summer’s budget process, the council didn’t have much to say about the request while the judge attended that meeting.  When the County Council approved the 2023 Salary Ordinance late last year, the $5,000 stipend was not added to the Salary Ordinance. 

During the December meeting, Judge Sarber attended the Council meeting and requested the council add the $5,000 stipend to the Drug Court Coordinator.  The old council told Judge Sarber he should go through the process of updating the job description for the position which may change their category and increase the pay.  The council also told the judge that approving the stipend would not be setting a good precedent since they have worked hard for several years establishing a process to equalize wages.

Judge Sarber said a category change may increase the Drug Court Coordinator’s pay even higher than his request for $5,000.  The judge told them he could also court mandate the stipend. 

During the January 12th meeting, the new County Council unanimously approved Judge Sarber’s request for the stipend. His request was to increase the permitted house of the Drug Court Coordinator from 1655 to 1820 annual hours and allow the $5,000 stipend from the Department of Corrections grant funds for Community Corrections.  His letter said, “The request is a mirror and confirmation of the duly approved budgets in 2022.”