will now share a judge with after both councils approved an agreement this week during each of their council sessions.
The agreement calls for the Farms municipal judge to serve as the Grosse Pointe Shores judge on the same schedule currently in place—every other Thursday—at Shores city hall.
The new arrangement became necessary after when terms for a new contract could not be agreed upon by officials.
Grosse Pointe Farms Judge Matthew Rumora, the current judge, will serve in the position for both municipalities until his term ends in December 2013. Under the operating agreement, following the completion of Rumora's term, residents from both the Farms and the Shores will be eligible to seek the elected position.
The agreement also outlines payment to the judge for $13,000 annually to be paid in monthly increments of $1,083.33. The salary is for the judge's time not only on the bench but also for after-hours job duties, such as approving a warrant or scheduling an arraignment that does not fall on the regular court schedule.
A separate agreement is to be drafted for court administration and is required by the approval of the main operating agreement. The Shores intends to use the Farms Court Administrator, Madeline Eberhardt. Part of her salary will now be paid by the Shores, Shores City Manager Brian Vick said Monday.
The operating agreement approved by both city councils is indefinite but does allow either city to terminate it with a one-year written notice of the termination—a time frame likely used to avoid the current situation in which the Woods gave the Shores 90 days of notice of termination.
The Woods' termination was a bit of a surprise to Shores officials because the two cities had been working together for years and .
Farms and Shores officials said at both meetings that Rumora and Eberhardt were happy to perform duties in both locations—an important part of the negotiations.
Vick previously told Patch and included similar information in a letter to the Farms city council that the Woods was unwilling to reach an agreement that would allow court to be held in the Grosse Pointe Shores municipal building.
The Woods, Vick said, wanted nothing short of a complete takeover and the Shores wanted to maintain the court services in their jurisdiction as it is currently offered for residents.
The introduction of the operating agreement happened quickly to avoid the Shores being without court services but did include some negotiations between the cities.
An initial draft included a lesser salary than the final draft and termination was contingent upon the Shores reaching an agreement with another court.