New Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Mary Welker has a bit of organizing to do, as she settles into her new position. She told the county commissioners Monday that Judge Michael Shurn appears to have left behind some unfinished paperwork when he left office. “There’s 300 to 400 files that are waiting on orders, and I think everybody knows that that was an issue. And as judge, I have two choices. I can just give those files to Judge Shurn and say he has to do them, or our staff can do them, make sure they get done, make sure they get signed, make sure they get filed, and I think that’s the only appropriate way to deal with it because there’s 300 or 400 of them.”Continue reading
One of the local officials leaving office as 2018 comes to an end is longtime Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn. Over the past month, he’s been updating the county council and commissioners on the transition process.Continue reading
The Pulaski County Commissioners will once again consider repealing the county’s campaign sign regulations when they meet this morning. The commissioners and the advisory plan commission have been discussing removing the “special signs” portion of the county’s Unified Development Ordinance since April, since election board members felt there were already enough rules at the state and federal level.
More details about proposed renovations to Pulaski County’s government offices are expected to be revealed during tonight’s joint county council and commissioners meeting. Back in October, Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston unveiled a plan to improve the accessibility, security, efficiency, and usability of the county’s buildings, all within a three-year period. He said the plan would include a security checkpoint at the courthouse, full ADA compliance, and a 50-to-75-percent reduction in utility costs.
Two Pulaski County officials will discuss their upcoming departures with the county commissioners tonight. EMS Director Bryan Corn is scheduled to discuss his resignation. He announced his intention to resign last month, but his resignation hasn’t formally been accepted by the commissioners yet. Meanwhile, outgoing Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn will discuss some end of term items.
Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn will be allowed to keep his county-issued email address and cell phone number once he retires at the end of the year. The county commissioners approved the arrangement Monday, on the condition that Shurn cover all the associated costs in the future. Commissioner Kenny Becker said the county’s IT director will have to work on separating Shurn’s phone and email from the county’s billing.
The Pulaski County Commissioners will decide tonight whether to ban commercial wind turbines. The updated wind turbine regulations head back to the commissioners tonight, after the county’s advisory plan commission agreed last week to some language adjustments the commissioners had recommended. Under the updated proposal, landowners would still be allowed to build noncommercial and micro wind energy convergence systems in certain areas.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is pursuing funding to launch a work release center. Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the county council this week that Natalie Federer, who serves as coordinator of the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, is willing to help with grant applications.
If Pulaski County doesn’t take action to secure its court system, the state may decide to step in. That’s what Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn told the county council Monday. “The Supreme Court promulgates what we call administrative rules,” he explained. “Security’s always been in the administrative rules. And they had a committee that suggested ‘should’ in some of the stuff. And the board which controls all of the judges sent to the Supreme Court the rule I gave you, which was created by the committee, again, with revisions, and it said ‘It shall,’ not ‘should.’”
A potential ban on wind turbines will be considered by the Pulaski County Commissioners tonight. The county’s advisory plan commission recently recommended banning wind energy convergence systems, over concerns about the safety and welfare of the community, flicker issues, and local fire departments’ ability to provide fire protection to the structures.
Overtime costs continue to add up for Pulaski Circuit Court. The Pulaski County Council voted Monday to transfer $5,000 into the court’s overtime budget from the law books line item, at the request of Judge Michael Shurn. “Last week, a two-day jury trial morphed into a four-day one,” he explained. “And I was working 16-hour days, and my staff was real close to that.”
Pulaski County is a step closer to getting its security committee back up and running. The county council Monday appointed council member Ken Boswell as its representative. The county commissioners appointed Jerry Locke last week.
How to increase security in Pulaski Circuit Court and other county offices will continue to be discussed during tonight’s Pulaski County Council meeting. Judge Michael Shurn is expected to ask council members to appoint a representative to the county’s newly-reestablished security committee.
Discussions about moving Pulaski Circuit Court into the Justice Center are drawing complaints from Judge Michael Shurn. During Monday’s county commissioners meeting, Shurn complained that he hasn’t been included in recent discussions. “I never see it on the docket, but yet I read about it in the newspaper,” he said. “You’re trying to decide what security is, and you’re trying to decide the future of the Circuit Court. You know, I think it would behoove you all to actually involve the Circuit Court in that conversation. I’m sort of shocked that you don’t do that.”
Discussion continues about moving Pulaski Circuit Court out of the County Courthouse and into the Justice Center. The move is seen as a cheaper alternative to installing and staffing a security checkpoint in the courthouse.
An increasing number of court cases in Pulaski County has led to some challenges when it comes to providing legal representation for those who can’t afford it. Superior Court Judge Crystal Brucker Kocher told the county council and commissioners Monday that the number of criminal filings increased from 715 in 2015 to 1,295 in 2017. During that same period, the number of felony and misdemeanor cases rose from 351 to 672.
Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections needs some Pulaski County residents to serve on its advisory board. Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn told the county commissioners last week there are several openings to be filled, in order to reach equal representation from both counties.
A Pulaski County commissioner is calling for Circuit Court to be moved out of the County Courthouse. During last week’s meeting, Commissioner Mike McClure said he wants move forward with a proposal to consolidate the county’s court system at the Pulaski County Justice Center. Continue reading
A backlog in cases in Pulaski Circuit Court has Judge Michael Shurn hiring a new part-time employee. The county commissioners voted Monday to let Shurn hire someone to help out the court reporter and front-desk attendant.