By Meg Dickens
The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and Clerk and Master work from a shared server to manage court and official documents. Officials linked the two offices for frugality, but server costs are reportedly $10,000 cheaper at this point. An update would decrease or eliminate prevalent technology issues both offices face.
Johnson County Purchasing Agent Dustin Shearin calculated how much separate servers would cost for each office. The Clerk and Masters Office would be $15,631.16, and the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office would be slightly more expensive at $18,614.56 for a combined total cost of $34,245.72. Most of these funds will come directly from the two offices’ reserved funds. The county’s contribution would only be around $10,660, which will come from general reserves.
The current server is out of date. Circuit Court Clerk Melissa Hollaway and Director of Accounts and Budgets Russell Robinson report that the server is “literally dying.” Thanks to the shared server status, when one office has issues, they both lose access while it resets. That could mean temporarily losing access to necessary files like court dockets, court records, and fine details, which would be a sizable inconvenience to both officials and the public. This affects a total of 11 separate workstations.
“Our courts are growing so quickly,” explained Hollaway. “The amount the servers hold, it would be more beneficial if we could have our own.”
Other officials admit that the court docket is behind. That is part of the reason the county plans to add a full-time judge position. It is another reason why limiting technology issues is beneficial. The update would also allow Hollaway to access the server from a personal laptop within the courtroom, which could be useful.
The offices received approval from the Budget Committee on Thursday, January 21. At this point, the servers’ launch date is undetermined but should be coming soon. For more information about the Johnson County government, call (423) 727-9633 or visit johnsoncountytn.gov.