Keeping order in the courthouse

By LYLE T. GALLOWAY
Posted 7/21/21

HONESDALE, PA — When one thinks of careers in a courthouse, what springs to mind? One’s mind might wander toward the judge, bailiff, or lawyers. However, there are a lot of lesser-known positions within a courthouse that make it tick. The Wayne County Commissioners recognized two of such positions. In their combined decade of service, both women have ensured that there was order in the courthouse.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Keeping order in the courthouse

Posted

HONESDALE, PA — When one thinks of careers in a courthouse, what springs to mind? One’s mind might wander toward the judge, bailiff, or lawyers. However, there are a lot of lesser-known positions within a courthouse that make it tick. The Wayne County Commissioners recognized two of such positions. In their combined decade of service, both women have ensured that there was order in the courthouse.

First to be recognized was Mary McCormick from the prothonotary’s office. The office itself is combined with the office of the clerk of courts. McCormick also serves as the deputy chief for the clerk of courts.

The position itself can be a huge responsibility. The position involves the filing of legal paperwork, dealing with criminal cases and keeping records for all legal proceedings that go through the courtroom. Last week was trials week, and McCormick was responsible for selecting the jury for Wayne County’s first jury trial since the pandemic.

Commissioner Joseph Adams acknowledged the levels of responsibility that accompany the position. “It’s critically important. All papers being served out go through the office; it’s both civil and criminal. It’s just a very important function of the legal system in Wayne County,” he said.

“What most people don’t appreciate is how important your role is in providing fair justice here in the county, and you’re a very big part of that process—as is your team,” added Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer.

Rochelle Haviland was the next individual to be recognized. Coincidentally, she started on the same day as McCormick.

Haviland works as the county’s payroll and retirement analyst. She works with the actuary to determine the feasibility of when someone is able to retire and ensures that 545 employees are paid.

Adams stressed the importance and substantial responsibility of her position; with most people living paycheck to paycheck, a mistake could mean a drastic change in someone’s life.

Haviland attributed her strong work ethic to her upbringing in a military family with five other siblings.

“We all worked and that’s how you get things done; hopefully that’s going to be a continuing thing in the courthouse,” she said.

Reassessment update

Getting the word out seems to be working when it comes to the county-wide reassessment. The commissioners thanked members of the press for their role in helping disseminate the information to the public.

Return rates for the mailers are approaching more than 40 percent.

“People do the right thing here; people are plugged in and understanding and they want to make sure that they participate,” said Adams.

Once again, the initiative’s revenue neutrality was stressed. If a property’s total assessed value doubles, the millage rate gets cut in half.

Other Business

  • Following a recommendation by county engineer Steve Knash, the National Resource Conservation Service will be informed on the county’s plans to rehabilitate four dry dams in Berlin Township: Garret, Finkleday, Varcoe and Martin.
  • The commissioner’s canceled a work session originally scheduled for August 3, citing a conference with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania as the cause.
  • The Wayne County Commissioner’s business meeting on July 29 will be rescheduled to 11:30 a.m.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here