BROOKVILLE â€” This week, the Jefferson County Commissioners said eliminating the positions of jury commissioner would save the county $12,000.
â€śTwelve-thousand dollars â€” that is the savings. That, in and of itself, is enough for me,â€ť commissioner Jim McIntyre said.
The elimination of this position is a statewide movement proposed a few years ago. It has passed in the state House of Representatives and is now in the state Senate.
County Commission Chairman Paul Corbin called the position a â€śduplication of services.â€ť
â€śThe court secretary does a majority of the work preparing the list of people who are called for jury duty,â€ť he said. â€śThe jury commissioners sent out the notices, but for the amount of money itâ€™s costing us, I feel it would be more efficient if the court would just handle it all.â€ť
Commissioner Jeff Pisarchik agreed with McIntyre and Corbin.
â€śThe concept is that it saves money for the taxpayers,â€ť he said.
However, the commissioners have not heard any updates in about three weeks.
There are two elected part-time jury commissioners serving four-year terms; they may not be members of the same political party.
Current Jury Commissioner Francis Tattersall, a Democrat, said that she enjoys her job, and she would definitely be upset if her position were to be eliminated.
â€śIt would take votes away from the public,â€ť she said. â€śWho is the public going to go out and vote for? To me, thatâ€™s a dictatorship.â€ť
Mabel Dunkle, who is the Republican jury commissioner, is also upset about this possibility.
â€śThey have been trying to do this for years and years,â€ť she said. â€śJury commissioners are honest people. We do not show partiality. If they eliminate us, whoâ€™s going to choose the peers so that those being tried get a fair trial?â€ť
In other business:
â€˘ At the start of the meeting, McIntyre called for a moment of silence in remembrance of local radio personality Gary Stormer, who recently died from pancreatic cancer.
â€˘ The commissioners appointed Karen May as assessor for the Borough of Brockway.
â€˘ The commissioners approved invoices in the amount of $611,677.72 for the period May 25 through June 14, inclusive, and pending invoices in the amount of $24,982.96.
â€˘ The commissioners approved the actual gross payroll in the amount of $200,053.40 for the period May 22 through June 4, inclusive.
â€˘ The commissioners approved the tentative gross payroll in the amount of $200,000 for payment for the period June 5 through June 18, inclusive.
â€˘ The commissioners approved the following applications for county aid for an allocation of County Liquid Tax Funds:
$10,000 to the Borough of Reynoldsville for repairs to borough streets.
$15,000 to Rose Township for roadway resurfacing.
$15,000 to Young Township to realign roads to eliminate bad curves.
â€˘ The next commission meeting will be held June 28.