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City to hire prosecutor, new police sergeant

MARYSVILLE After completing a mid-year review of city revenues, officials are moving forward on a few fronts, perhaps most notably the hiring of the city's first criminal prosecutor.

At a City Council meeting on July 18, Chief Administrative Officer Mary Swenson said the city currently farms out criminal prosecutions to the office of City Attorney Grant Weed.

Because of a large number of cases reaching the city's municipal court, Swenson said the city actually could save money by hiring an in-house prosecutor.

Neither Swenson nor other officials announced a timeline for finding a prosecutor, but City Council formally approved the hiring at its last meeting of the summer on July 28.

Also in terms of helping move the court's caseload, the city plans to create a new administrative position within the court.

Along with addressing court issues, council approved creation of a new sergeant's position within the city police department. Swenson said the move is needed because the department is now fully staffed. Police also will be bringing in a new custody officer to replace an employee now on military deployment.

In recent months, Police Chief Rick Smith and others have said lateral transfers – that is, experienced officers joining the local department from other law enforcement groups – have swelled the number of officers patrolling local streets.

Finally, council approved the purchase of new software and hardware for the Marysville recreation department. When the system is up and running, for the first time, residents will be able to sign up and pay for recreation offerings on-line. Currently, registration and payments must be made in person at recreation offices or by fax.

City Recreation Director Jim Ballew is on vacation and was unavailable for comment. Community Information Officer Doug Buell said he did not know of any specific timeline for implementation of the new registration system, but added the city will make a general announcement when the new on-line capabilities are in place.

While council funded the above items and a few others, some items requested by various city departments, including police, were left on the table because of some at least mild budget concerns.

City Finance Director Sandy Langdon said Marysville retail sales tax collections are coming in about 6 percent lower than projections. But she also noted retail collections are up 4.3 percent over this time last year. Langdon said it's difficult to predict where collections might be at the end of the current fiscal year.

"Right now, it's just something we're keeping an eye on," Langdon said.

At the July 18 council session, Swenson said the city probably would not have a clear picture on tax collections until September.

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