Killeen will begin its search for a new presiding municipal court judge next month following Judge William Gibson’s announcement that will retire in January when his tenure expires.
Gibson began serving as an interim judge in June 2009 when former judge Barbara Weaver announced her retirement.
He was later appointed to the position by the Killeen City Council in December 2009.
In a special meeting Tuesday, the council elected to allow city staff to perform the logistics of seeking a new judge, rather than hiring an outside agency to sift through applications.
Ann Farris, assistant city manager, presented the council with the current job description, which they read and made notes about changes.
“One thing not stated in the job description is that this is a full-time job, and that the lawyer should not be engaged in any other practice of law,” Mayor Dan Corbin said. “I’m concerned that people will apply thinking they can maintain their private practice of law while being the judge. I think we all understood that (is not the case), but it’s never been specifically stated.”
The presiding municipal judge oversees traffic offenses and other Class C misdemeanors, city ordinance violations and juvenile court.
Farris said city staff will begin going through applications Dec. 14 to 16 and identify the candidates who meet the minimum qualifications.
The council will select which candidates to interview.
The goal is to have the position filled by Jan. 14.
The council also chose to change the requirement that a person hired outside of Killeen seek residency within 30 days of the hire to 180 days.
Farris said two studies were completed: one using cities within an hour of
Killeen and one using cities comparable to its size.
The council accepted Farris’ recommendation of increasing the current salary for the judge from $100,000 to $102,000.
“I think that’s a salary which we can get someone who is competent and has the requisite experience,” Corbin said.
Farris said the salary can be negotiated during the interviewing process.
Gibson will relinquish his duties once the council hires a replacement.
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555