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Elections

Position papers: Stow Municipal Court judge

10/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Kim Hoover (incumbent) vs. Kandi O’Connor

Voters living in the Stow Municipal Court district will vote for one candidate for judge in the Nov. 5 General Election. In the West Side Leader coverage area, the Stow Municipal Court serves the communities of Boston Township, Cuyahoga Falls and Peninsula. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.

 

Kim Hoover (incumbent)

What are the three most important issues facing the Stow Municipal Court and how would you address them?

“Finances, alternative sentencing to lessen jail populations, and use of technology to serve quicker, cheaper, more efficiently.

“We will continue to use our in-house programming to earn and keep money in the court rather than pay outside vendors so that our operations do not burden the taxpayer. Imaginative programming including diversion programs for youthful or first time offenders teach better citizenship with jail as a last resort for those who will not learn or adjust their poor behavior. Technology allows people to access our services and information from their homes rather than waiting in lines in bureaucratic hell.”

What does a judicial demeanor mean to you and do you think you have it?

“Being strong and firm to protect the weaker yet kind and courteous where the situation allows, in dealing with all who come before the court. I believe I have used this philosophy for my 18 years on the bench and I continually try to hone those skills.”

 

Kandi O’Connor

What are the three most important issues facing the Stow Municipal Court and how would you address them?

  1.  “Fiscal responsibility while controlling Court Costs — Since the Courthouse moved to Stow in 2009, Stow has the highest court costs of any similarly populated jurisdiction. The overall costs in Stow are 37 percent higher than Akron Municipal Court. Solution: Make sure that the fees and costs are appropriate and in line with other comparable municipal courts. Also, I would use technology to increase court efficiency and lower the overall operational costs of the Court.
  2. “Effective Sentencing — Continued cuts in funding for correctional services at the state and local level requires a judge to search for more creative sentencing alternatives to punish the offender and keep the victims safe. I would ensure that community service sentences are performed in the community in which the crime occurred. I would also use alternative sentencing and diversion programs to encourage treatment and rehabilitation.
  3. “Mediation — working with the local bar association, prosecutor’s offices and victim services agencies, I would create a mediation program to provide a peaceful and nonviolent process for responding to conflict. This program would offer non-violent offenders and their victims the opportunity to mediate their interactions. In many situations, the victim is better served by having an active voice in the proceeding and to actively engage with the offender with the help of a qualified mediator.”

What does a judicial demeanor mean to you and do you think you have it?

“Judicial demeanor means that a judge must be a leader, inside the Courthouse and outside in the Community.

“An effective leader understands that their attitudes and demeanor will set the tone for the entire environment. A judge must ensure that they are demonstrating respect for the law and for the legal system. A judge must be able to listen, evaluate, and apply the law fairly and impartially in order to impose justice. A judge must also use common sense, compassion, patience, tact and understanding.

“As a Judicial Attorney and Magistrate with the Summit County Court of Common Pleas I have been training to be a judge for the past 17 years. I conduct pretrials, interact with attorneys and pro se litigants every day. I know how a court runs and as a Magistrate I understand the complex interactions between the Court, the Clerk of Court and other elected officials within the communities we serve. 

“As a leader and as a Magistrate I possess the qualities necessary to serve the communities in the Stow Municipal Court District as Judge.”

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