Voters in the April 7, 2015 spring election will elect new leadership for the Hortonville Municipal Court.
Judge candidates include residents Peter J. Olk and Louis McKellar. Both candidates responded to a brief candidate survey for the Press-Star. The successful candidate in the election will serve a four-year term.
What are the three most important traits a municipal judge should have?
Louis McKellar: 1. Judicial temperament. A judge should show qualities of patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, firmness, understanding, compassion and humility. A judge should be able to deal with people calmly and courteously and should be willing to hear and consider the views of all sides of a case. A good judge needs to be even-tempered, yet firm; open-minded, yet willing and able to reach a decision; confident, yet not self-centered.
2. Record of community involvement. A judge’s non-legal experience is very important. His participation in public service and community activities should be considered.
3. Administrative ability. A judge needs to have strong administrative skills to deal with the demands of long court list. These administrative skills are necessary to hear and decide cases within reasonable time limits without sacrificing the needs of individual citizens or their lawyers.
Peter Olk: Honesty, integrity and fairness.
If elected, what changes would you suggest for the court, if any?
Louis McKellar: I believe we need to focus on what is best for the community. We need to ensure the public trust is served. We need to continue to collect previously adjudicated fines and reduce any backlog of them.
Peter Olk: Collect past due fines and provide alternate ways to make restitution.
What is your personal or professional background, and how might that help you if elected a judge?
Louis McKellar: 1. Graduated from the Naval Justice School, Newport, RI. 2. Served as collateral duty legal officer for nine years in the US Navy. 3. Empowered as a federal magistrate from three and half years, adjudicating cases similar to those which come before the municipal judge, referring cases to higher court as appropriate. 4. Master’s degree in Management.
Peter Olk: Past experience in State government. Able to adjudicate issues fairly.
Why should voters elect you?
Louis McKellar: I served three terms as a village trustee and would like to continue serving the community in a different role.
Peter Olk: I am committed to make changes and improve the quality of life in Hortonville.