Tuesday Aug 04 2009
Loss of more than 30 employees impacts court business
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
CEO says many cuts made to close $3.5 million deficit
Tuesday marked the beginning of longer lines at Placer’s main courthouse now that 36-fewer employees are working at the Roseville location. Staff layoffs were announced earlier in July yet the last day for employees with pink slips was Monday. Jake Chatters, court CEO, said 33 union-represented employees had their final day of work Aug. 3. Three unrepresented employees technically finished their final workday Aug. 1, Chatters said. Chatters estimated that the layoffs, combined with mandatory furlough days, reduction in court-security related costs, cutting funding to peer court and other general operating cuts, will “roughly” close Placer court’s $3.5 million budget deficit for this year. “We’ve had to make cuts in all areas of the court and certainly it is a difficult process,” Chatters said Tuesday. Staff from “all areas of court operations” was impacted by layoffs, Chatters said. Staff was cut from the courtroom, front desk, general processing and file management areas. Custodial and maintenance workers also lost their jobs. Tuesday marked a day of longer lines for visitors to the Bill Santucci Justice Center and extended wait times on the phone for those calling the courthouse, Chatters said. Defense attorney Robert Young described the scene at the courthouse Tuesday as a “real mess.” He estimated that more than 40 people were standing in a line that snaked outside of the building. He said he is considering drafting a petition to send to the state to have them reconsider funding decisions. Chatters said the wait times may decrease slightly as remaining employees adjust to a new work load but cautioned court visitors to add more time for any court-related errands. “Certainly court customers should expect longer lines and wait times in the foreseeable future,” Chatter said. Union representatives for court employees did not return a request for comment as of press time. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.