REEDSPORT — Based on increased court activity, Reedsport city councilors have modified the city judge's contract.
City Manager Jonathan Wright wrote that "based on being fully staffed at the Reedsport Police Department, the activity and level of responsibility of the municipal court judge has increased exponentially."
Because of this, City Judge Matt Muenchrath has asked to have councilors amend the contract, clarifying what a court day means. Some court days plus the amount of preparation and follow through, "could take more than just the several hours in the afternoon that have been allotted for court."
In a Tuesday phone interview, Wright said the work load has increased from where this was for previous judges, saying "there's more work and more correspondence." He said Muenchrath will show up at 10:30 and "stays beyond often when I'm here.'
Muenchrath earns $350 per court day. According to the draft agreement, his time in court totals no more than four hours a day.
"Any hours in excess of a court day shall be billed at the hourly rate of $125 an hour rounded to the nearest one half hour," according to the contract. The judge will charge the city $50 for "non-regular court day arraignments and may be compensated for other pre-approved activities at agreed upon rates, but not for an additional court day of $350."
He bills the city monthly.
"His governmental rate is lower than his standard rate," City Manager Wright said. "He's very fair. He's very honest and he's a great fit for our community."