Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Budget windfall adds jobs, hours to Pasco Clerk of Courts

Starting in October, customer service hours at Pasco clerk of courts offices will return to normal after a panel of state lawmakers on Thursday restored the bulk of a major budget cut to Florida's 67 clerks offices.

The Joint Legislative Budget Commission approved giving the clerks $29.5 million, just shy of the initial $31 million cut. Pasco clerk Paula O'Neil said the county's share is about $800,000. That means her office will soon post openings for 16 full-time positions, and it will also fill nine part-time jobs through a temporary staffing agency.

When the Legislature approved the budget cuts this spring, O'Neil accepted early retirements from five workers and cut a total of 25 unfilled positions. That meant customer service windows and call center hours for court-related business were only open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The new hours took effect in July. Normal operating hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are expected to resume Oct. 1.

"I wish we could (restore the customer service hours) sooner," O'Neil said. "But we did let those positions go and made other arrangements. So now we don't have the trained people to do that."

The reduced customer service hours gave employees more time for filing and processing tasks that were normally performed by other workers.

The shorter hours affect only court-related business, such as when people need to pay a traffic ticket or request a document from a court case. Official records such as marriage licenses, passports and property records are not affected. Hours also are the same for non-court-related financial services.

The budget commission is a 14-member panel of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate. It makes recommendations for midyear adjustments to the budget. O'Neil said other legislators have two weeks to raise objections, but she doesn't expect any problems with the clerk funding.

The $29.5 million will come from a special trust fund that collects court fines and fees. A memo describing the proposal says the fund had a $13 million balance in June. It is expected to cover the budget increase because of recent changes to state law that allow for greater collection of fees.

Lee Logan can be reached at llogan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236.

Budget windfall adds jobs, hours to Pasco Clerk of Courts 08/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 8:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  2. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  3. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  4. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  5. Helicopter, small aircraft collide at Clearwater Air Park

    News

    CLEARWATER — Two people suffered minor injuries after a helicopter and a small aircraft collided late Saturday afternoon at Clearwater Air Park, 1000 N Hercules Ave.

    Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal douse a plane with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Ave. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two people sustained minor injuries. [Photo by Clearwater Fire Department]