Ovid, Lodi Boards back court consolidation

The Towns of Ovid and Lodi have each passed a joint resolution to consolidate their two town courts into a single position.The towns voted on Wednesday (May 16) to abolish their separate town justice positions and provide for the election of a single townjustice for both towns.The resolution follows a study conducted by representatives both towns. Town Supervisor Walt Prouty and Town Attorney Steven Getmanrepresented Ovid. Supervisor Lee Davidson and Town Attorney Michael Mirras represented Lodi. Both towns were assisted by Lodi TownJustice Louis Van Cleef (who also serves as acting Ovid Justice) and his court clerk, Angela Champion.Both boards conducted public hearings on May 16, prior to their votes.The resolution will now be forwarded to the New York State legislature for final approval.Under the resolution, the separate town justice offices will be abolished as of December 31. On January 1, a single judge will take office in both towns. That judge will be elected in a two-town vote at the November general election. The successful candidate would then serve a four-year term.It is anticipated that the court will be held in the Lodi Town Municipal building. The impetus for the study was, in part, the fact that Ovid’s town offices were becoming inadequate for the court’s operations. Consolidating both courts in the Lodi building will provide more room and greater security, the study found.The Town of Ovid has been without a sitting judge since the death of Town Justice Wayne Ewing in December. Van Cleef was assigned by the state to serve as acting judge in Ovid pending further action on the position.The complete study supporting the court consolidation, is available at the following link: http://bigsight.org/documents/download/1318

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