Clarifications made regarding comments on county attorney’s budget

Clarifications on repairs and maintenance to the county attorney’s office were made last week following the county’s budget hearing.

Clerk of Court Dori Noyes said she wanted to clarify comments she made during the July 9 meeting. She said she shouldn’t have mentioned specific departments and understands improvements in the county attorney’s office have been over many different budget years, including the extension office, and under different county attorneys’ tenures.

“My whole point is that it all needs (maintenance and repairs) to be done on a regular basis so it’s not so expensive to do it all at once,” Noyes said. She noted she had been given the approval for the upgrades using her budget but felt the upgrades should have come out of the courthouse budget.

County Attorney Michelle Burns said, “There has been no remodeling done in the county attorney’s office since I took office in January 2011. Any statements made during the budget hearing insinuating that I have done otherwise are completely and absolutely false. A recommendation was made to secure the main door to the county attorney’s office front door after the state did a walkthrough of our courthouse to assess security last year. This upgrade has been needed for quite some time. I have made arrangements to make that upgrade hopefully in the next several months. It has been budgeted through my 12-13 budget, so there will not be an additional expenditure from my budget; the contractors simply did not have sufficient time to make the installation prior to July 1, 2013.”

Courthouse operations manager Fred Werner said that since 2011, the county attorney offices were painted including the four offices and the reception area. They have also added new window coverings and new desks when a second receptionist was hired.

Both the district clerk of court and county attorney’s offices are getting security doors, which have been budgeted, invoiced from the 2012-2013 budget.

No work has been budgeted for either office in the new budget approved July 9, Werner said.

He said there was additional work in the county attorney’s office prior to 2011, under a different county attorney and different budgets.

by Karla Pomeroy