The Pulaski County Commissioners have declined to make an official recommendation about adding a new secretary for the Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Dan Murphy has been asking for a seventh full-time staff member, citing a significant increase in the number of cases being filed, along with the addition of new court programs. The matter ended in a three-to-three tie during this month’s county council meeting, leading Council President Jay Sullivan to ask for the commissioners’ input.
But when Murphy brought the issue to the commissioners last week, they emphasized that it wasn’t their decision to make. “We have no motion to make or anything on it, do we?” asked Mike McClure.
Kenny Becker replied, “No, because it’s not really up to us, and I’m not stepping on the council’s toes. We’re not supposed to be telling them what to do.”
“Again, it’s the council’s decision,” added Jerry Locke. “I know, I’m like Kenny. I don’t want to step on their toes, and likewise, we don’t want them to step on our toes. It’s not our decision.”
Commissioner McClure did voice concern with adding another staff member. He noted that it would likely cause other department heads to ask for more help, at a time when the county is probably overstaffed already. He also questioned why the number of cases is going up, when the county’s population is going down. “Well, if it was my business, I’d rather work good people overtime than put somebody else, and hopefully it slows down,” McClure said. “I can’t honestly say that I could see where hopefully it smooths out a little bit and you’re not so far behind. That’s just private industry. You can do things way different than public industry.”
Commissioner Locke asked Murphy how his staffing compares to prosecutor’s offices in neighboring counties. He said it varies widely depending on the caseload and the structure of each county’s court system.