Apr 21, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Residents who have been confused over when and where village and town courts convene — whether in the Gothic Cottage or the Village Municipal Building — have much less to remember now that the Cazenovia village and town boards have approved an inter-municipal agreement for the two courts to share one space.
Under the agreement, both courts will now meet in the village courtroom, located in the village municipal building at 90 Albany St.
Village and town court sessions under Justice Timothy Moore (who serves on both courts) will meet at 5 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of every month; town court sessions under Justice Fred Palmer III, will meet at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.
The agreement, which has been in discussion for a few years, was put into place as a way to remove the public’s confusion over where to show up for a court appearance, to improve court records handling efficiency, to improve court security and to just find a more appropriate place for town court to be held, according to Village Trustee Fritz Koennecke and Town Councilor Kristi Andersen, who worked together to create the agreement between the two municipalities.
“One of big issues we’ve been trying to solve is that people are very confused which court they’re supposed to go to… now they both have same address and at approximately same time,” said Koennecke. “The clear message is that town and village court is on Wednesdays in the village courtroom.”
One of the major issues the shared services agreement alleviates was the fact that the Gothic Cottage was inadequate for court proceedings, particularly relating to security and accessibility, Andersen said.
“Putting all the courts in one place — a much more secure and appropriate place — and having a clerk regularly available to take calls helps save time and money and provides much better service for the public,” she said.
Under the agreement, the town will pay the village a $9,400 fee for the use of the court facility. The fee includes the village court clerk spending approximately three hours per week assisting with town court duties and two hours of police protection per week for court dates and arraignments. A village police officer will be present during all court proceedings, regardless of whether they are presided over by a village or town judge.
“In the end, we’ll end up saving money and a lot of people’s time, especially people who don’t know where to go,” said Koennecke.
“I am optimistic that it will work out very well for the citizens of the town and the village,” Andersen said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.