Heres your summons: Make YOUR Judge choice

By Trish Adams
If you are still undecided in the Delaware County Judge’s race, go sit for a day in their respective courts: witness the mind-numbing tedium of hurry and wait, and the sudden high stakes drama when all you-know-what erupts. Becker tackles the latter with relish, and Judge Rosa has a Zen master’s patience with the former. 

But both judges have to deal with all sorts of scenarios, day in and day out, trying to keep their ideals of justice foremost. And although we may disagree on what best constitutes “judicial temperament,” and “most valuable courtroom experience,” we are lucky here in Delaware County to have such a hard choice to make. 

So, you’ve heard that Becker can get riled or maybe even sound off? Then you recall his 40 plus year’s experience in courtrooms, often seeing the same damaged humans over and over: part of his job is helping more than 3,000 troubled families — many of them children — through the system each year.

During Judge Rosa’s 20 years in town court, he has also been there for our “misguided youth” (and sometimes the not so young) and families tettering on the verge of some terrible choices. Gary’s family has lived in Delaware County for at least six generations, so our county and its people are in his bones. 

It’s a tough job, but these guys want to do it
The funniest — and perhaps most pertinent — question at Wednesday’s forum was asked by Arnold Weiss, who said he listened about the burdens of the job and could not tell for the life of him why anyone would want it. I concur. I was exhausted after trailing these two public servants for only a few days. But then — there’s the drama of courtroom confrontations, the deeply human element, and … the ongoing connection to life in our towns, at its very roots. That can be quite addicting, as any journalist would tell you.

The one thing this race is not about is Republican or Democrat. In no race is partisan politics less relevant in helping you decide which man you want in office, because political convictions don’t and shouldn’t appear in court. In fact, if you hear the two men discussing their approach to court procedure, you might find Becker (R) sometimes presents as almost liberal/activist in approach and Rosa (D) as more conservative and restrained in adjudicating and sentencing. You really have to hear them out to get a sense of their philosophies.

Two great options
Here, in this struggling county, we’re lucky to have two devoted, talented public servants, duking it out for a thankless job that means time away from their families, missed holidays and a lot of wildcard hostility aimed at them. They could both make a lot more money and lower their stress by practicing law. 

Unlike many other states, in New York, we have the privilege of electing our judges. The choice is yours — not that of some political boss. This is the man our friends, our families and our neighbors will face, who will try to help them sort out their lives when something has gone wrong. We owe it to both the candidates to do our homework, and so the Catskill Mountain News has dedicated considerable coverage to your judicial choices. 

Having done my homework, I’m torn myself. I wish Delaware County could have two judges, especially two as different in their way as Becker and Rosa. But on Tuesday, Nov. 6, you only get to vote for one. Good luck, and go vote!