As of Tuesday, July 2, the pay for all citizens who answer the call to perform some civic duty has increased a few dollars more.
Atchison County commissioners unanimously voted to raise jury pay to $35 a day from the previous $10 a day rate that had been in place for many years. Jurors are paid from the general fund in the county coffer.
Commissioners signed off on Resolution 2019-1456 to establish fees and mileage reimbursement for jurors in Atchison County District Court.
Adoption of the jury pay hike followed some discussion on the matter based on a recommendation Clerk of the District Court Donna Oswald, presented to commissions on behalf of Judge Martin Asher and Judge Robert Bednar. The court officials had initially recommended pay hike be $50 a day.
Commissioner Henry W. “Bill” Pohl said $10 is too low, but a jump to $50 seems to be too big of an increase. Fellow Commissioner Eric Noll said he agreed. A discussion ensued, Chairman Jack Bower along with Noll and Pohl reached a consensus to raise the jury pay amount to $35 before their vote. The mileage rate will be the standard rate allowed for county employees while conducting county business in their personal vehicles.
The resolution states that the right to trial by jury is among the most important right in the American justice system for criminal and civil trials, and survival of the right is dependent on the willingness of all to serve. The service of jury duty frequently poses hardships for some summoned. Jury pay is a way to compensate potential jurors and jurors for their call to service throughout the selection and trial process.
Concerning some other matters, commissioners:
Adopted Resolution No. 2019-145 to update the list to build or repair existing bridges in the county in accordance with KAS 68-1103 financed by the initial issuance of a $2 million General Obligation Bond Series 2018. The bonds were issued Aug. 30, 2018, to finance all or a portion of costs of the public improvements.
Heard a complaint from Walnut Township officials, residents and property owners concerning replacement and maintenance of a crossing that spans Walnut Creek. The crossing recently washed out in wake of a recent flash flood event that left the road impassable. Commissioners agreed they will research the matter and indicated it might take a week to explore the matter.
Information for this story is based on the unofficial meeting notes recorded by Michelle Phillips and video of the meeting as posted on www.youtube.com/user/atchisoncountyks