Commission agrees to replace retiring juvenile register

Members of St. Joseph County’s board of commissioners appear willing to bend their hiring-freeze directive to aid Family Court.

During Wednesday’s executive committee meeting, commissioners heard Judge David Tomlinson explain a potential hardship with the impending retirement of Cathy Coleman.

Coleman, whose job title is juvenile register, originally had planned to retire March 28 but has moved up the date of her final day to Feb. 28. She is one of five courthouse employees to take advantage of an early-retirement incentive offered by the county.

Tomlinson said Coleman’s job clearly qualifies as “essential” to the department and is not a position that can be absorbed by anyone else in the department.

Commissioners agreed to the request and are expected to give their formal approval at Tuesday’s meeting next week.

With benefits, Coleman’s position cost the county about $73,000 annually, according to county administrator Teresa Doehring.

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