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Burke, Kagarise team up for study

Commissioner, judge to focus on court-related departments

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Blair County commissioner and judge are teaming up to initiate a study, at no expense to taxpayers, focusing on revenue and expenditures in the county’s court-related departments.

Commissioner Laura Burke, who announced the initiative during Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, said she and Judge Wade Kagarise intend to examine financial data and related practices of the county’s court-related offices and compare it to similar data and practices of counties with similar demographics and/or case loads.

Burke and Kagarise believe the pursuit should allow them to come up with recommendations for county leaders.

“We’re initiating this study without preconceived results,” Burke said when asked about specific goals or anticipated recommendations.

Kagarise also offered no specific goals when speaking of the first-time collaboration.

“We both envision that there will be some findings and that we’ll see some things during our research that need further exploration,” Kagarise said. “In the end, the recommendations will be just that: our recommendations. They won’t be binding.”

The study’s examination of court-related offices will specifically include the county’s judicial offices, the magisterial district judges’ offices, court administration, adult parole and probation, juvenile probation, domestic relations, cost and fines and the law library.

“I am looking forward to working with Judge Kagarise to make sure all stakeholders are aware of how these offices are funded and to explore opportunities to improve our practices,” Burke said.

The proposed study, expected to last at least a year, is expected to reflect revenue and expenditures in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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