WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams City Council voted to begin advertising to fill the newly open magistrate position for the city of Williams at its Jan. 10 meeting. The position was vacated Dec. 31 when the previous magistrate contract expired.
Rob Krombeen, who had been serving as magistrate, addressed the council at the Dec. 13 meeting and requested a new contract that included a pay The council voted against the pay increase and the contract Krombeen provided, and tabled the decision about how to fill the position until the Jan. 10 meeting.
“As everyone’s aware, the council chose not to renew the magistrate’s contract at the last council meeting at the end of December,” said Mayor John Moore. “Currently we have a protem functioning in that position. In order to fill the position with a full-time magistrate position we have to do an advertisement or an RFQ (request for qualifications).”
Krombeen, who is also a justice of the peace for Coconino County, had served as the magistrate for the city of Williams since 2011.
According to City Finance Director Keith Buonocore, Krombeen’s contract was for 10 hours work per week at an hourly rate of $33.28, which equates to $17,305 per year.
Krombeen requested a new employee agreement with the city that included a proposed salary of $31,200 per year.
In his presentation to the city Dec. 13, Krombeen justified the need for a salary increase based on an increase in workload and on comparable salaries of pro-tem judges.
He said the number of labor intensive cases filed in the Municipal Court have increased dramatically over the past four years. He provided data that showed his case load had increased from 507 cases in 2012 to 909 cases in 2017.
Krombeen also said there was a significant disparity between his hourly rate and the rate paid to pro-tem judges who cover the court in his absence.
Councilmember Frank McNelly and Lee Payne spoke at the Dec. 13 meeting saying they were concerned with the cost the city was paying for the magistrate court, which includes a building lease, attorney fees and staffing salaries among other costs.