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Judge’s order still questioned

The Ironton City Council Finance Committee discussed, but took no action, Thursday evening on a court order from Ironton Municipal Court Judge O. Clark Collins issued earlier this month asking that $20,000 be transferred from one of his accounts to the general fund to pay the council-mandated seven-and-a-half percent retirement pickup for his employees.

Earlier this year the full council passed an ordinance requiring all non-union employees, which includes the municipal court staff, begin paying seven-and-a-half percent of their retirement pickup.

The council urged the city’s three unions to adopt the new policy as well.

Collins told The Tribune last week his employees have had additional duties assigned to them and he thought they merited not having to bear this burden. The city council passed the matter to its finance committee for discussion.

“My whole beef with that system and the seven-and-a-half percent raise is that we set out to make it (the pickup change) across the board,” committee member Kevin Waldo said.

Waldo asked why Collins has five municipal court accounts that he contends has over a million dollars in them at a time when the city is in financial straits.

“Where would this money go if he didn’t have those five funds?” committee member Aaron Bollinger asked.

“Back to the city,” Waldo replied.

Waldo submitted a written list of a dozen questions to Finance Director Kristen Martin, seeking information about the funds and other aspects of municipal court operations.

The finance committee went into executive session during its Thursday meeting to discuss a personnel issue but adjourned the meeting without taking action.