Under the Dome

Senator’s bill would help court clerks in his district

Updated: State Sen. Bill Cook, who last week filed a bill to protect the senior Superior Court judge in his district from a State Bar investigation, has also filed a pair of bills that would benefit three clerks of court in the counties he represents.

Senate Bill 166 would require a study to increase the salaries of court clerks in counties where the workload increases due to seasonal tourism.

Senate Bill 167 would allow court clerks to count time spent as a probation or parole officer toward their longevity pay – a bonus that goes to long-serving state employees.

Marty Paramore from Beaufort County, Dean Tolson from Dare County, and Katherine Cartwright from Pasquotank County fit both those categories.

Cook notes the bills would also benefit any clerk of court in those circumstances.

Over the weekend, Cook elaborated in an email to Dome.

“Currently, a Clerk of Court receives a raise for longevity after five years of service,” Cook wrote. “Also, already in state statute if the clerk previously was an Assistant Clerk, Justice, Judge, District Attorney or a Magistrate they would receive credit for their longevity time and it would transfer over. However, probation officers do not receive credit for their years of service, and they’re also officers of the court.”

About the second bill, Cook said:

“The bill directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to study methods for adjusting the salary of Clerks of Superior court who serve counties where the annual workload is greater than would be expected for the population of the county due to seasonal tourism. Several counties on the coast and in the western part of the state see an increase of population at some point during the year. The formula used by the AOC to calculate the workload and salary does not take into account the influx of tourism during a particular time of the year. This bill is just a study to address that issue.”