Kent County Commissioners decided whether the need's there or not, the expense is too great to follow through on a State Court Administrator's Office recommendation.
The board met today and voted to not pursue addition of a Circuit and District Court judgeship, respectively. Special Judiciary Subcommitee member David Bulkowski told WOOD Radio the recommendation came from Lansing last year and their group met ten times with all concerned parties. "We met with the judges a couple of times, we met with the the prosecutor's office, the Sheriff's office. I think it was a very tough decision, it's a huge investment from our perspective."
Bulkowski said the "easy number was $400,000 per year, going forward" unadjusted for inflation to fund a Circuit Court judgeship, even with the space built into the County Courthouse. "There's all the support personnel, the cost of the courtroom, the cost of the Sheriff to move people in or out or provide security, the cost of the Prosecuting Attorney."
Kent County will inform the state legislature of this decision, Bulkowski said they know a similar recommendation from the SCAO is likely next year. "The state needs to really look at how all courts were funded. It was something invented way too many years ago."