Garrett re-elected as municipal judge

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Jan Garrett easily won her third term as municipal judge, taking 1,456 votes in a three-candidate field.

“I’m pleased, I’m blessed,” Garrett said. “I like to have a job when I get up in the morning.”

Garrett took 66.8 percent of the 2,180 ballots cast Tuesday. Steven L. Garcia finished with 624 votes, followed by Bonnie Bryant with 190.

The victory may not have been close, but Garrett said, “I think it was close enough.”

A former court reporter, Garrett was first elected to the position in 2002 — the same year voters moved the position from part-time to full-time.

She said the economy is a challenge over the next four years, as she noted that many offenders have limited resources and the city can’t afford to hire program directors for counseling and treatment options.

“A lot of the things we would want to do, like community service, counseling … take money, and we don’t have the funds to hire the people we need to supervise those programs,” Garrett said.

Garrett will receive a salary bump from $40,000 to $67,607 annually, an increase approved last year by the city commission.