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Posted on: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Commissioners eliminate half of JP Courts, Constables
JPs, Constables will continue to serve until terms expire
   
 
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Aug. 2013

GALVESTON -- Galveston County Commissioners Court has reduced the number of Justices of The Peace and Constable precincts from eight to four, cutting more than half of the county’s neighborhood courts and the corresponding constable precincts.

The biggest changes occur in southern Galveston County. The new Precinct 1 combines the previous Precinct 1, covering Galveston’s West End and represented by Justice of The Peace Jim Schweitzer, with the previous Precinct 4, which covers most of the western portion of the mainland and currently is represented by Mike Nelson.

The new Precinct 2 combines portions of the existing Precinct 2, represented by Penny Pope; Precinct 3, represented by Sonny James and Precinct 6, represented by Pat Vondra. The new Precinct 2 will include portions of La Marque, Texas City, Galveston and the entirety of the Bolivar Peninsula.

The existing nine JP's will continue to serve in their new districts until their terms expire.

There are eight precincts that include nine Justices of The Peace and eight Constables in the county. Precincts 8 and 2 are split into two JP courts.

The cuts are expected to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and could reach $1 million.

Several Bolivar Penisula residents complained that combining their current precinct with others in Galveston and the mainland would put them at a loss. Getting to an island or mainland court building would be difficult for residents only connected to the rest of the county by the Bolivar ferry.

Others complained that by cutting the number of justices, the commissioners were taking away precious public access the JP courts were created to provide. Some worried that the commissioners were putting dollars ahead of the public good.



Comments:

Court dates seem to be out there way to long already. I think this is going to ad to the criminal element. Such a wonderful economy these days with everyone cutting back and cutting hrs??

Posted by Floundering at 8/20/2013 5:51:22 AM

Funny. This country is stupid enough to put our so called president back in office and it's amazing how the economy just gets worse and worse. Now our local JPs are cut, court dates will be more backed up, and I believe pretty soon the JPs will be requesting the Sheriff's Office to start finding creative ways to stop writing tickets; or at least to find a way to get people to pay out instead of request a court date. Awesome.

Posted by JustSomeGuy at 8/20/2013 1:34:34 PM

I suppose the JP's will just have to hold court more often ... this should have been done a long time ago. Yes, there will be a difficult adjustment period, but people, I've seen so so much waste in our county and state government, it's such a shame ... MAYBE (just maybe)this is the start of taxpayers actually getting their monies worth from from elected officials.

Posted by nameless at 8/20/2013 2:59:36 PM

I agree to the the cuts but maybe not to 4. Though chastised for it in a meeting, I recommend the cutting of PCTs 1 (Pope),and 8-2(Woltz) for financial reasons only nothing personal... that if Constables and JPs didnt offer up something that this exact thing would happen. Their false loyalty has gotten the better of them.

Seems like Commissioners don't realize the created their own opponents.

Posted by Pam Matranga at 8/20/2013 3:41:53 PM

This is just wrong!!! I have friends and relatives that are court clerks and Dep. Constables. Like the Sheriff dept. these positions have been in the same families for generations. These people have no other skills and can't get hired by other counties.. THE COUNTY (GALVESTON) OWES THESE FINE PEOPLE A LIVING! You can't just put them out on the street.. It's not about money, It's about taking care of each other as we have done for generations.

Posted by BOI 4 gen at 8/20/2013 11:00:15 PM

Will the decrease in JP Courts and Constables require an increase in personnel in the respective existing entities to handle the increased workload? How much will really be saved?

Posted by Nick Elodeon at 8/21/2013 3:09:45 AM

I'm not understanding why everyone is so upset. The citizens are getting exactly what they voted for - and this is what you get when you vote for a party and not the individual.

Posted by Pappy at 8/21/2013 7:57:58 AM

Well the dollars they are going to save "supposedly" will just get passed on to certain staff...cant wait for election time.....

Posted by watashame at 8/21/2013 8:14:01 AM

BOI, WOW! They do have skills as clerks and Deputies. The County doesn't owe them anything because generation of their families have worked there. Having said that voters need to beware of who they vote for. Those newly elected in the past few years all had hidden agendas and they have come to light.

Posted by Pam matranga at 8/21/2013 8:30:58 AM

I am glade to see the county trying to get a handle on this cost you need to keep the JP offices open MON thur FRI one of each court will stay open until midnight to have night court and a JP available after 5 pm.The court can take a 30 day turn each 30 days it moves to another pct. all deputies will keep their job just assigned to a different pct. I would go one set further I have a ONE police dept county wide, chief or sheriff elected IT's all about I and ME and not what is good for the county. The county has too many little kingdoms through the county it needs to stop does not make DEM or REP they need to stop just take a look at what is happening in DC a big joke and look who is paying the bill you and me

Posted by carl robacker at 8/21/2013 10:55:16 AM

I am still unclear on who is going and who is staying. I do find it interesting that the least performing JP Court is not only staying, but increasing in size.

Posted by Nick Elodeon at 8/22/2013 11:07:40 PM

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