Johnsburg Town Board minutes are clear in regard to justice position

To the News Enterprise:

In the Dec. 8 edition of the News Enterprise, a letter to the editor by Mark Bergman has some inaccuracies that should be addressed.

Mark’s letter was in reference to the appointment of a new town justice at the Nov. 20 Town Board meeting. Mark asserts that it was “more than coincidental that there was only one applicant.” This is not accurate.

According to Mark, the announcement of Judge French retiring and the appointment of the temporary justice occurred at the same Town Board meeting. It did not. Justice French’s letter of resignation was read publicly at the Town Board meeting of Nov. 8. There was a discussion regarding this, as this put the town in a very tight deadline to appoint a new temporary justice, in order to be able to have them attend the mandatory New York State Training program for town justices starting in late November. If the new justice was not in place for the training, than Johnsburg would not have an approved town judge until after the next state training program taking place sometime in April 2013. Town court matters would then have to be handled by a visiting judge, and based on three towns in the district all needing new town judges, this would be problematic at best.

The Town Board did, in fact, have two people who expressed interest in the position. There was a letter submitted by one person, and a second person, Drew Hayes, spoke at the Nov. 20 Town Board meeting about his interest in the position. The board felt it was imperative to appoint someone as soon as possible so that we could have an operating town court. Of the two candidates, the board chose Mr. Vince Schiavone for the new and interim town justice based on his experience working in and around the court system. The board also encouraged Mr. Hayes to run for the office at the next election which will be in November, 2013 to finish out Judge French's original term of office.

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