Really want to help court? Donate & volunteer | Letters | Nov. 19
December 3, 2010 · Updated 2:14 PM
I’d like to applaud those who petition to keep our police court at Rolling Bay. Yet in rough priority of needs, it’s hard in a reality check to accept this demand as a well-lit candle about the city’s grim money shortage.
More than a few names among the open-letter signers in the Review ad (Nov. 12, page A10) tend to keen from the heart for pushing more public funds for artists, senior services, laid-off bread winners and city staff, and front-row community suffering. And now for the city court.
Some must have gotten more traffic tickets than we suspected. Not that their motives are feckless. Were they to spend time in our city court, they would acknowledge some balancing observations to weigh-in with. Three of our substitute judges – not just a few police officers – and the daily prosecutors travel from off-island for court here. Not too efficient.
Closed-circuit TV eliminates some defendants from going to our court. Other judges swap time and go around the state now on the economy circuit to hear cases. If island lawyers who signed the open letter were true to their practices, they would have to admit how tape machines, mediators, arbitrators and contracted commissioners and special masters have replaced traditional courts for the same justice but on the cheap.
It’s obvious that the 600 or so petitioners or open-letter names could afford to donate $50 a person. From this we might buy a courtesy van with ceiling ads to take offenders to Poulsbo. That’s $30,000 saved.
Lawyers and non-lawyers who signed could offer pro bono court services free for two years, like at Helpline House. The seven lawyers listed in the advertisement would only have to appear a few times each month.
What were these thoughtful, influential people thinking after expressing sincerely their appreciation of our core needs for more of them at a local courthouse?