Town looks to eliminate judge position; community to vote on matter

(Photo via Pexels).

Town residents will vote on the fate of one of the two town justice positions this November.

The Cortlandville Town Board summoned a special meeting Monday to approve the measure. 

This comes after a couple of months of uncertainty surrounding the position. The resolution to make this personnel move subject to a referendum was approved unanimously.

At the meeting, town attorney John DelVecchio read aloud the resolution, which is based on the 60-A statute of town law. It was adopted in February 2013.

“The town board increased the number of town justices for the town of Cortlandville local criminal court from one to two,” he said. “And whereas, since the adoption of that resolution, the court has incurred substantial financial losses as a result.”

The financial losses came from the decreased number of arraignments at the town level. Arraignments are now processed through Centralized Arraignment Part (CAP) courts.

CAP courts aim to foster efficiency and ease logistical and administrative burdens by assigning off-hours arraignments to local criminal court judges according to a rotating, predetermined schedule, according to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. This ensures a judge within the county is always available to handle an arraignment.

“The town board has determined that it is in the best interests of the town to rescind the town justice position created in the February, 2013 resolution to improve efficient and effective operation of the court and to better serve the people of the town,” DelVecchio said.

Town voters will decide on Nov. 7 whether or not the town will continue to have two town justices.