Clerk Roche addressed the Board, reminding them that he had brought up the difficulty of retaining good employees many times over the course of his first year in office. “How can you be competitive when there is no way to offer a great employee any increase in pay?” stated Roche. “We have seen one hard-working employee after another leave because they can earn more money elsewhere,” he continued. The Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court has attempted to initiate non-monetary incentives including a commitment to training and to providing the equipment needed to streamline work processes.
Clerk Roche would have preferred to go beyond that, but has been stopped by the county wide freeze on salaries. “I have tried my absolute hardest to be a team player, and I serve in the Judicial Branch which is by its very nature dedicated to impartiality. A 1% increase to employees equates to less than eight dollars a paycheck. How is eight bucks going to change anything? How about a meaningful system of reward based on merit?” Roche questioned. Roche states that his rejection of the Rios initiative, in its current state, has nothing to do with Party and everything to do with intent and timing.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting this morning, Chairman Rios questioned the Clerk regarding how to fund meaningful raises for employees. The Clerk stated that it is all about fairness coupled with fiscal stewardship. The COSC ended fiscal 2010-2011 6% under budget (not including the 1.5% decrease demanded by the County) and will finish fiscal 2011-2012 approximately 4.5% under budget.
Because of focused fiscal stewardship as demonstrated by those numbers, deserved raises for excellent work could have been accommodated and the Office would remain under budget. The Clerk challenged the Board of Supervisors to be serious about compensation and to work with elected officials to develop merit based salary plans, such as those adopted by the Town of Florence.
Vince Leach, member of the Patriots of Saddlebrooke, concurred that elected officials need to have latitude in how they spend their allocated budgets. “What a novel idea….paying hard-working employees according to their efforts,” Leach affirmed. “I support Clerk Roche’s ability to look beyond election year antics,” he concluded.
At the end of the meeting, the “1% solution” did not find support.
The Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court is committed to providing quality customer service, ensuring the integrity and access to court records by supporting the Judicial process through efficient Records Management, Financial Administration and Jury Service.
The Florence office of the Clerk of the Superior Court is located at 971 N. Jason Lopez Circle in the Pinal County Justice Complex, Building A. It is open to serve the public on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Satellite offices are located in Apache Junction and Casa Grande. The office of the COSC can be reached at 520-866-5300.