Editorials

Hear ye, hear ye. Court is out of session

Collinsville’s City Hall courtroom would need $300,000 in security and other upgrades to continue as a courtroom that is used one day a week. The decision to end it by July 1 is good for taxpayers. The decision to put a full-time circuit clerk there is a luxury.
Collinsville’s City Hall courtroom would need $300,000 in security and other upgrades to continue as a courtroom that is used one day a week. The decision to end it by July 1 is good for taxpayers. The decision to put a full-time circuit clerk there is a luxury.

Madison County is eliminating a courtroom in Collinsville. The room needed $300,000 in work to make it compliant with safety and other building requirements, plus the space occupies one-fourth of City Hall but is used just one day a week. The city could better use the space for other things.

Taxpayers win.

Yet how about extending that win a bit more.

Madison County Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida intends to keep one of his clerk employees at City Hall five days a week. He sees it as a way to offer better public service and convenience as people from Collinsville and Troy pay fines or look up records. How many taxpayers will use this service? If only 10 a month, will it be reviewed and ended or be institutionalized until efficiency is again forced onto government?

That clerk makes about $40,000 a year, based on the office’s payroll. That person will essentially be unsupervised in a remote office. The clerk will also do what most folks could effectively do for themselves on the Internet.

Circuit court records are online. Fines can be paid online. Too old or technologically challenged to figure out the Internet? That’s what grandkids and librarians are for.

Let’s save a little more. A circuit clerk in Collinsville is a luxury taxpayers can live without.

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