The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Jury system imposing on business


June 20, 2009

I operate a small company with 14 employees. It is difficult for me to find professional, trained help, so each employee is vital to my business’ everyday operations.

Panel jurists are not informed until after 5 p.m. whether they have jury duty the next day. Scheduling is impossible to plan, not knowing whether an employee will be available the next day or not and when he/she may return to work.

One employee absent is a hardship on our operation, creating more work for remaining employees. I’ve had as many as three employees called for jury duty at the same time. That is crippling to this business and that employee’s time and wages.

Several of my employees and I seem to be called for jury duty every 12 to 18 months. Is the list of eligible jurors really that short? Or, are we a select few?

A defendant should not be able to tie up juries, judges, prosecutors, police officers, witnesses, etc., until minutes before a scheduled trial, only to plead out. A defendant should be required to plead at least five days prior to his trial date or forfeit that option.

I wonder why the working class seems to be hit hardest for these jury pools. Is there not an alternate group of people that maybe should be required to pay something back to society? I’m thinking of those people on the unemployment and welfare roles, or those receiving a disability check who would be physically able to serve their community. Why couldn’t a volunteer list be created?

I am proud I have been able to support my community and my country to the best of my ability. At the same time, more citizens should be given opportunity to feel the pride that comes from community service.

Ronald Dickson


Clovis Aquatic center missing important asset

Finally, Clovis’ aquatic center is open again after six long months. The one thing missing is Sheila Holley.

For those who do not know Sheila, she was in the position of supervising the pool and the staff under her. I personally saw her professionalism almost every day for a year.

She was fair to both patrons and her staff. She would always go the extra mile.

She was demoted from her position during the six months the pool was closed. I have heard both sides of the story and I’m asking the patrons of the pool and other citizens that know Sheila to contact the mayor, city commissioners, city manager and the Parks and Recreation Department manager to ask for her reinstatement to her prior position.

These phone numbers can be found in the government pages of our local phone book and at:

Philip Lewis



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