Walbridge: Mayor’s court to open in January

Larry Limpf

Mayor’s court in the Village of Walbridge is scheduled to start operating in January after village council on Dec. 18 approved reinstating the court and hiring magistrates to hear cases.
Mayor Ed Kolanko said the court may be operating as early as the third week in January.
Council also approved recommendations by the mayor and police chief Kenneth Campbell to hire C. Drew Griffith and Cory Speweik as magistrates at a rate of $60 per hour.
Mayor Kolanko said Griffith will serve as lead magistrate and Speweik will serve when Griffith is unavailable.
Griffith has been the magistrate of the mayor’s court in Northwood since 2005 and has a private practice in Perrysburg. Speweik has experience as a solicitor for several municipalities and has been involved in mayor’s courts, the mayor said.
Once up and running, the mayor’s court will be in session on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
Village officials opted to eliminate mayor’s court in 2015 and cases normally heard in the court were handled in Perrysburg Municipal Court.
At the time, the village clerk of courts was retiring and it made financial sense, the mayor said, to have the cases handled in the Perrysburg court.
But some residents have said they would prefer to have cases handled locally. Also, having cases heard in Perrysburg resulted in overtime costs for police officers.
Mayor Kolanko said the court won’t function as a “cash cow” for the village.
“We’re not a speed trap town. The revenues to our mayor’s court are not that great,” he said. “I think it provides a service to our community and will allow us to handle some property maintenance issues at more of a local level and better run the village.”
Mayor’s courts hear cases involving violations of local ordinances and traffic laws.
In other business, council approved 2 percent pay raises for village employees, excluding council itself and the mayor.


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