Bainbridge embarks on search for new judge

Bainbridge Island has launched its search for its next municipal judge, and there is no time to waste.

The city aims to appoint and swear in a new judge by Dec. 1, according to City Manager Doug Schulze's weekly report for Friday, Aug. 9.

Staff have drafted a job description for the post and the city expects to publish a job vacancy announcement this week.

Judge Kate Carruthers announced her exit from the position in July. She stepped onto the island bench in 2006, and rolled over her contract for the job in 2009.

Schulze reported in his letter that the next judge will take over the position at .5 FTE (full time equivalent) position, based on caseload data that staff has compiled. That's a reduction from Carruthers' current contracted hours for a .67 FTE position.

This is not the first time the city has attempted to reduce the hours of its municipal judge.

Councilman Bob Scales proposed, and the city council approved, reducing the position's hours to .5 FTE from .67 FTE in 2010.

The city intended to save $30,000 through the move, but Carruthers sued the city in 2011 for breach of contract and won her case in King County Superior Court. The city was ordered to reimburse Carruthers for the salary and benefits that were reduced.

Carruthers' current contract established a salary level of $94,946 a year in 2010.





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