With courts going dark one day a month starting Wednesday, San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge James McBride held a press conference today to “emphasize and reiterate” the news about the closures, which he said will save $2.6 million in the court’s staff, janitorial and security costs.
“This is not a proud day for us,” McBride told a handful of reporters. But the court closures beat layoffs, he added.
The closures are meant to save about $94.3 million statewide.
McBride said that participation appears to be high in the judges’ voluntary salary giveback program, though the AOC won’t release those numbers until mid-October. Judges can either give back a day’s worth of their salary each month to the statewide court system or write a check to their local courts. It’s a matter of camaraderie, McBride said: “It’s certainly a lot easier for me to meet the people I work with here and tell them I’m doing it.”
We guesstimate that roughly two-thirds around the state are sharing the pain by sharing their paychecks so far ... after the jump.
Last week, the San Francisco court referred the Recorder to the AOC for participation rates. The AOC told us last week, before the deadline for judges to submit their paperwork, that preliminary numbers were looking like this: 627 judges out of 1,640 statewide were participating in the voluntary salary waiver, while 423 were donating directly to their local courts.
Grumbling judges in the South Bay indicate that not all judicial officers around the state are falling in line. "I am emphatically opposed to closing the courts per se, and my only means of protesting the court closure is to come to work on the 'furlough' days,'' Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Thomas Edwards told the Merc. Edwards is one of seven holdouts in Santa Clara.
— Kate Moser