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Our endorsement for Skaneateles town justice

Editorial

The two candidates for Skaneateles Town Justice are both qualified and capable individuals. After interviewing Kathleen Dell and Tim Lynn, we came away impressed by both.

Both have the appropriate intelligence, legal experience and know-how to do the job; both have judicious mindsets in which equity and fairness will be their guiding principles while sitting on the bench; both have the organizational skills and experience to handle the job’s scheduling and paperwork.

We do not believe that political affiliation — Dell as a Republican and Lynn as a Democrat — has any bearing in this choice. Likewise, we do not believe the fact that one candidate is a lawyer and one is not has any bearing on the choice. Town justices are not required to be attorneys.

We believe this election race choice hinges on the candidates' ultimate availability and dedication.

Kathleen Dell is a quiet person who maintains a “low profile.” She is dedicated to her job as the incumbent town justice. When not working in justice court, she serves part-time as secretary to the county court judge.

Tim Lynn is a very busy man. As he told us, “I’m always busy; I don’t like to be idle.” In addition to his busy law practice in Syracuse, he also coaches his son’s hockey team and attends every game. He previously served four years on the village board of trustees.

While Mr. Lynn’s constantly full schedule and his dedication to family, community and job all are admirable, his numerous responsibilities could preclude him from his responsibilities as town justice, as they did during his tenure as a village trustee when he missed 25 percent of the meetings and arrived late for multiple other meetings from 2008 to 2011 (the meeting minutes are available online).

Kathleen Dell impressed us with her fair but understanding judicial philosophy. “I believe in accountability,” she said. “Everybody makes a mistake and that’s okay, but if it is unlawful they need to be held accountable.” She said each case and each decision as town justice depends on the individual circumstances. “We are all human beings,” she said. “[This job] is important to me. Every person and every case matters.”

We also were impressed by Dell’s work ethic. “You don’t get to call in sick on court nights; certainly things happen but you have to be there for trials and hearings,” she said. “They involve a number of people and so you can’t just on a dime change something: it costs people money, it costs people time.”

We believe that for Kathleen Dell, the town justice court will be her primary concern, while for Tim Lynn, the court will be only one of his many concerns.

We endorse Kathleen Dell for Skaneateles town justice.

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