Judge - Portage County Municipal Court
Why are your running for office, and what previous experience makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?
After serving as an Acting Judge for 15 years, and representing clients in private practice for over twenty years, I have seen the difference a Judge can make on people’s lives.
I enjoy working with the public and in the legal system. At the Municipal Court level, I have the opportunity to serve as the first line of intervention and deterrent so criminal actions are not repeated. It is also an opportunity for victims of crimes to be heard.
It is important for Municipal Court Judges to acknowledge and listen to victims so they can also heal and move forward. Municipal Court is often the first interaction a person has with any kind of Court. Whether it’s a traffic ticket, a physical altercation or property damage, it can be frightening for plaintiffs, defendants and victims. Our Municipal Court must be approachable, firm and fair in deciding cases.
A Judge also has the unique opportunity to empower and motivate positive change for a person who appears before the Court so prior poor choices can be overcome to work towards a brighter future. I will serve Portage County to the best of my abilities as Judge of the Municipal Court.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?
I will provide fair and impartial decisions in the administration of justice. My goals include running an efficient and effective Court, provide those appearing before the Court the opportunity to be heard, and to render fair and timely decisions.
What are three policy initiatives you plan to focus on if elected?
1. To ensure defendants are afforded the right to legal representation;
2. For the Municipal Court to be accessible to the public for assistance; and
3. Investigate and promote alternative rehabilitation or treatment programs for offenders where traditional sentencing has not been effective. This may include drug treatment options, mental health evaluations, counseling or other services.
What can local governments do to encourage young people to stay in Northeast Ohio?
Do you support nondiscrimination policies that protect individuals regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression?
Yes. Every person should be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, when coming before the Court and in life, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. We are all human beings.
Should cities in Ohio be required to cooperate with U.S. Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement? Should cities have the right to become a sanctuary city?
What are your thoughts on public safety and your plans for crime prevention?
Municipal Court provides an excellent opportunity for Judges to make an impact upon pubic safety and crime prevention. Appropriate sentencing which provides accountability, deters repeat criminal actions, and provides rehabilitative services, is essential for a Judge to positively influence public safety and crime prevention.
Do you support reasonable regulations on firearms in the United States? Please explain.
Yes. As Americans, we do have the right to bear arms and we must do so responsibly. Reasonable safeguards should be in place to ensure appropriate types of firearms are possessed by competent persons, and handled responsibly and safely to protect all citizens.
Please respond "YES" or "NO" to the following questions/statements regarding the environment:
Do you recognize the existence of climate change?
Do you believe the government has a responsiblity to respond to climate change?
Do you support the use of "Fracking" (hydraulic fracturing) to extract oil or gas?
Do you support the restoration of funding for the EPA at the state and federal level?
Do you support state and federal governments incentivizing the adoption of clean/renewable energy sources over the use of fossil fuels?
The state of Ohio has continually cut funds to local governemnts over the last eight years. How do you plan on operating within the confines of an already reduced local budget, without cutting critical services to tax payers?
We must put forth our best efforts to manage within our means. This requires continuous monitoring and adjustment of budgets to ensure the changing needs of our Courts and citizens are met. This is difficult to do effectively and local government must work together for the good of the people.
What can be done to create new business and encourage existing business to expand and attract more companies with their tax base and employees?
Should your district reduce the cost of services by contracting out or privatizing government services such as street sweeping and garbage collection and professional services such as engineering and information technology services? Why or why not?
What will you do to actively engage young people in local government?
The Municipal Court is a public Court. People of all ages are welcome to observe and learn. I have served as a mentor in various legal and non-legal capacities for many years and will continue to welcome young people to learn about the legal system while serving as Municipal Court Judge.
Do you feel that housing in your city is affordable for young people? If not, what will you do to address this issue?
Housing opportunities and affordability are constantly changing. Employment and fair wages are critical to securing housing. As Judge, I will incorporate as many employment options as possible when appropriate for sentencing considerations. I would also like to work with local employers to help find good matches to address employment needs and provide opportunities for those who come before the Court needing employment.