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Ken Burke receives national award for juror pay plan

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Ken Burke, Pinellas County clerk of court, received the 2016 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACO) for his “same-day juror pay mobile workstations.”

The mobile pay stations were the first in the state to offer same-day juror pay in the jury room itself.

“Receiving this award is truly an honor and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how well the program has improved the jury service experience,” Burke said. “This initiative ultimately offers jurors one less worry when taking part in such a fundamental component of our justice system.”

Burke spearheaded the idea as a way to streamline the juror pay process, improve customer service, and save tax dollars.

The mobile pay stations were put in place Sept. 13, 2013. Before then, jurors who were eligible for compensation would be inconvenienced by the need to visit cashiering stations outside jury room to request their pay. If the jurors opted for a non-cash payment or if they failed to collect their compensation, the checks would be mailed between seven and 10 days after their jury service. With nearly 28,300 citizens reporting for jury service each year, the cost of mailing juror payments was significant — and the process was cumbersome and inefficient for all parties involved.

Started in 1970, the annual achievement award program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative, effective county government programs that enhance resident services in 21 different categories. Burke was honored in the Court Administration and Management category.

NACO unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACO brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas, build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government, and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

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