Kremmling swears in new trustees, expands reach of municipal court | SkyHiNews.com

Kremmling swears in new trustees, expands reach of municipal court

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Courtesy photo Kremmling Mayor Tom Clark (left) administers the oath of office to Ken Bentler (center) and Isaac Schonlau as town trustees. Bentler won re-election in the April 1 municipal election while Schonlau won his first-ever elected position. Also elected a trustee was Erik Woog, who was unable to attend Monday's town board meeting.

Two of the three trustees who were elected in the previous week’s municipal election were sworn in Monday to begin their four-year terms on the Kremmling Board of Trustees.

Mayor Tom Clark administered the oath of office to Ken Bentler and Isaac Schonlau. Bentler was an incumbent candidate in the April 1 election and now begins his second four-year term as a Kremmling trustee.

The third candidate elected in the April 1 municipal election was Erik Woog. He was unable to attend Monday’s meeting and will take the oath of office at a future meeting.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Clark nominated and the town trustees approved the appointment of Bentler as mayor pro tem.

In other business Monday, the town board gave its approval to two matters related to the Kremmling Municipal Court. Both give the town’s court, which is presided over by Judge Georgia Noriyuki, more latitude .

The first action taken was approval of an amendment to the town’s previous municipal court ordinance. The amended ordinance now establishes it as a “qualified municipal court of record.”

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“By making it a qualified municipal court of record, it changes the court’s abilities in fines and sentences,” said Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade.

Under the previous ordinance, it could charge up to $300 in fines and/or maximum sentences of 90 days in jail. The newly amended ordinance now raises the fines up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to one year.

“Also by becoming a qualified court of record, it allows any appeals that move beyond the municipal court to rely upon its court records,” Spade said. “In the past, if a municipal court case were appealed to the county court, there would have to be a whole new trial.”

Spade said he was enthusiastic about the change in the status of the town’s municipal court.

‘We have high confidence in going to this level of court due to the high professionalism and qualifications that Judge Noriyuki will be bringing to the court,” he said.

The second action approved Monday was an intergovernmental agreement between the town’s trustees and Grand County Board of County Commissioners about the municipal juvenile diversion program.

The agreement expands the Grand County Juvenile Services Department’s program to include juvenile infractions at the municipal level. This expansion of the juvenile diversion program will include the Kremmling Municipal Court.

“Our municipal court will determine who will be referred to juvenile diversion,” Spade said. “This juvenile diversion program has been a huge benefit to the citizens of Kremmling. By expanding it, we hope to see further progress with Kremmling youths.”

The Kremmling Board of Trustees will be holding their next meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at Town Hall.

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