A controversial proposal to give up Carthage's Municipal Court and refer local cases to the Jasper County Circuit Court was unanimously rejected by the nine City Council members at Tuesday's meeting.

A controversial proposal to give up Carthage's Municipal Court and refer local cases to the Jasper County Circuit Court was unanimously rejected by the nine City Council members at Tuesday's meeting.
The vote was no surprise since nearly all Council members spoke against Council Bill 18-16 at the meeting on April 24 when the bill was heard on first reading.
The only additional comments on Tuesday came from Council Member Brady Beckham, who was absent from the last meeting. Beckham said he would be voting no on the bill, but he understood why the city staff brought it up and appreciated the chance to talk and learn more about the municipal court.
“This was not a bad consideration, I'm glad we're considering it, I'm thankful for the city staff that they're considering these alternatives,” Beckham said. “I think it's clear that the Council will not be able to make a decision in favor of anything like this unless we know with some more validity, some more confidence, where the municipal court would end up.
“I wouldn't be surprised if this comes back again some time and that's ok, but yeah, I think what we've learned in this process is that the citizens of Carthage really care about court being here.”
The Council discussed the issue in the Public Safety Committee and the previous Council meeting before coming to this verdict.
Current Municipal Judge Brad Cameron reaches mandatory retirement age in October, meaning Carthage will be in the market for a new municipal judge for the first time in 34 years.