“Why Do We Have A Redundant Service”?
by Paul Wolf - posted 12:55 am, May 12, 2014
Village of Lancaster Trustee Russell Sugg raised a simple question at a recent Village of Lancaster meeting, when he asked why do we have a Village Court and a Town Court.
The Town of Lancaster with a population of 41,000 people has two part time town justices that work two days per week handling court cases. The Village of Lancaster consisting of 2.7 square miles and a population of 10,000 residents within the town of Lancaster has their own Court consisting of one judge and a clerk.
As reported in the Buffalo News it is amazing the anger and arguments that get raised when the idea of eliminating or consolidating a government program is raised. The News stated: “Mayor Paul M. Maute, typically reserved at government meetings, grew visibly annoyed with Sugg …. “You can’t jump at this. I didn’t know we were in a hurry”.
At a later meeting, Trustee Dawn Robinson expressed concern about eliminating the Village Court stating “Is Town Court able to perform the same service without village residents losing their identity?” Trustee Kenneth O’Brien stated “Village Court is important to the quality of life that village residents have come to expect.”
Village Court employee Mike Murray went so far as to say that eliminating the village court will result in lost lives as people get lost in the town court system.
Meanwhile the Village Court has lost money the past five years in a row totaling $109,959, with the largest loss of $33,962 occurring in 2013. Sugg has pointed out that having a village court is not a required service, that the village does not need to spend money on this service so why is it doing so?
It is amazing to me how many small villages exist within towns with duplicate services being provided. I applaud Russell Sugg for raising this issue for discussion. Bringing about change in government is not easy.
What do you think about Sugg’s points and the arguments made as to why the village of Lancaster court should not be eliminated?