Dorothy Little is Payson's new justice of the peace.
She was appointed Dec. 14 by the Gila County Board of Supervisors to fill the remainder of retired Payson Justice of the Peace Ronnie McDaniel's term. The term expires Dec. 31, 2006.
"She was the most qualified, according to the selection committee," said District One Supervisor Ron Christensen.
Incoming Supervisor Tommie Martin, and Lionel Martinez comprised the selection committee. There were six applicants, but one withdrew, so five candidates were interviewed, Christensen said.
Little has more than a decade of experience on the bench. She began serving as associate magistrate/judge pro tem/court supervisor in 1991. In 2002 she had to relinquish the substitute justice work when it was ruled a judge pro tem had to be an attorney.
"I started as a temporary clerk in 1987," Little said. "I enjoyed the staff and working with Ronnie McDaniel and they couldn't run me off."
She has lived in Payson since 1980 when she came here with her parents. She met and married her husband, Geoff Little here. Their son, Jeff, graduated from Payson High School this year.
The strongest traits she brings to her appointment as Payson's new justice of the peace are her abilities to listen to individuals, treat everyone equally and stay up-to-date and active in the judicial system throughout the state.
Little said she does not plan to make any changes in the court for now. She has been serving as interim justice of the peace since McDaniel's retirement Nov. 19.
"We don't need to change anything right now, Ronnie leaving was a big enough change for everyone," she said.
When McDaniel's current term expires, Little said she intends to run for the office.