Editor, I requested records from the city of Ludowici for the month of December, but officials had so much time off — 11 days during a seven-week period — that I haven’t received anything. Apparently, they are too busy “catching up.”
According to the Georgia Open Records Law (OCGA 50-18-70, I am supposed to receive my request in a good and timely fashion. By Feb. 3, 2011 it seems December’s information should be on the computer and, in fact, so should January’s. If the records are on the computer then it would only take a minute to make me a copy.
During the council’s most recent meeting on Thursday, Jan. 27, motions were made to establish the elected officials’ salaries. They were all given the same salary as last year except the municipal court judge. Current Judge Larry Fowler asked that the salary be raised by $250, bringing it to $750 per month. Court is held once a month.
Fowler said he received a letter in November from the state regarding the qualifications one must have to hold the office of municipal court judge. The judge must now be a licensed attorney, which he thinks warrants a bigger salary. The city charter, however, says the salary must be between $300 and $500. To change the charter, the state legislators have to go through a legal process, which was reflected in the charter when the judgeship was made into an elected office in 1996.
The salary before the change had been $300. The council has the city attorney looking into this. After calling Darien and Jesup, I found that their judges are lawyers and are being paid $500 per court session.
Perhaps it’s necessary to change the salary if an attorney is elected but as of now, $500 seems ample pay.
Just to inform you, the council members didn’t even know this was in the charter. They were advised by the city clerk.
— Janis Goode