New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 29, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — Herald-ZeitI NG — Sunday, June 29, 2003MAGISTRATION/From 1A
paid when they ran for election,” Scheel said. “I’m from the old school: you do what you were elected to do.”
But JPs William Schroeder, Susan Dvorak and Jennifer Saunders feel otherwise. They claim the work does not relate directly to their precincts and is an extra duty they should be compensated for.
Justice Diana Campos (Precinct 3), who stopped doing magistrations in January, told county commissioners magistration is not the sole responsibility of JPs. She said Section 2.09 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that district and county court-at-law judges can share magistrate duties. The mayor and municipal court judge can also be appointed to the task.
Scheel said district judges in Comal County have recused themselves from magistrations because they feel they should not take statements from felony defendants who could end up being tried before them.
Schroeder told commissioners he discussed the issue with justices in a number of other counties, and they all get paid.
Hays County, he said, pays each JP who performs mag
istrations $4,000 per year.
Since 1995, two Comal County JPs have been paid $2,000 a year for magistrate duties. Scheel said the $2,000 was a pay supplement to two justices who were carrying the load of four.
In January, he received a letter from the justices requesting $5,000 each to perform magistrations.
Scheel said the justices told him the growth of the magistration job was interfering with their primary duties. Campos told Scheel she would no longer magistrate at the jail.
Scheel said he understood the issue was one of workload — not money.
“If we paid them $5,000 more, it wouldn’t create any more time for them,” he said.
Scheel brought the issue to commissioners. The county sought legislation to create anot her magistrate’s position and another county court-at-law.
The county will pay attorney Ellen Salyers just more than $10,000 for the remainder of this year and nearly $21,000 each year afterward to perform magistrations on weekdays.
Two weeks ago, Scheel received a letter signed by
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justices Schroeder, Dvorak and Saunders asking for $125 a day to do weekend or holiday magistrations.
Scheel put the question of compensation on Thursday’s commissioners’ court agenda. Commissioners voted to study the issue one week before making a decision.
Dvorak, Saunders and Schroeder said they would continue weekend magistrations only if they were paid.
“If not, we’ll have to opt out,” Dvorak said.
business was slow, but the show had only just begun. He said people were looking, touring and scouting out booths.
“Then people come back and get serious,” Enriquez said.
He sells wooden bird houses with Texas-themed license plates bent to make the bird houses’ peaked roofs.
He also sells wind chimes made from Lone Star Beer cans.
Larry Bridges’ sells pen-and-ink drawings filled in with
Larry’s wife, Sharon, said they traveled all over Texas taking pictures of courthouses, windmills, filling stations and college buildings.
“We travel and take pictures and draw ‘em,” Larry Bridges said ‘You take something from Tbxas and go all over the world with it. It’s something to remember the state by.” Teresa Del Castillo sells items for dogs.
She has “belly bands” for male dogs and “pet panties”
for female dogs.
Del Castillo advertised that the belly bands and panties were great to help potty-train pups. Some even came in University of Texas and Texas A&M colors.
Del Castillo was also sporting and selling another unique item — a “precious pouch” used for carrying pets.
“Business had been good,” she said. “A lot of people have checked them out and bought them. It’s a good crowd.”
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