Assemblywoman Galef Hosts Forum on Making Local Courts More Efficient

Fewer courts could mean saving tax dollars
January 19, 2010

Continuing her focus on streamlining government, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will bring in judges, lawyers and experts from the area for a conversation about local court consolidation, on Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor. The forum is open to the public and there will be an opportunity for questions and answers.

Experts include New York State 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Alan D. Scheinkman, New York State Supreme Court Judge Francesca E. Connolly, Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts’ Chief Counsel Elliot Moskowitz, and Fund for Modern Courts’ Deputy Executive Director and Director of Advocacy Denise Kronstadt.

“As a resident of the Town of Ossining, I often find myself asking why so many of the functions of the Village of Ossining are replicated in the Town of Ossining and vice-versa,” Galef says. “I even wonder why neighboring communities might also be offering the same services. As the world gets smaller through technological innovations, and the economy shrinks, it is time for government to follow suit,” she asserts “Our court system is another important place to look at to see if we are duplicating efforts.”

Elliot Moskowitz from the Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts said: “I am pleased to participate in a discussion concerning our Town and Village Justice courts. While these local courts play a critical role in the administration of justice in our State, it is important to examine and consider how this institution can be improved, better supported and made more efficient. I applaud Assemblywoman Galef for organizing this panel discussion and drawing much-needed attention to this issue.”

Denise Kronstadt from the Fund for Modern Courts said: “Modern Courts welcomes the discussion on ways to best provide our local town and village courts with the proper and shared resources to meet the interests of localities and the fair administration of justice. We applaud the work of Assemblywoman Galef in addressing this important but often overlooked part of local government and the justice system.”

This forum is part of a continuing series of town hall-style meetings in which Galef hopes to bring community into the conversation about reducing government at all levels in hopes of bringing down its cost, thereby helping people where it counts: in their pockets. Galef invites the public to join these esteemed experts as she moderates this discussion on how local court consolidation could improve efficiency in the justice system and save taxpayers’ money. Panelists will discuss pathways to change and how local community members can get involved.