Last Friday, Tidd announced he was resigning his position as Magisterial District Judge, effective March 1.I knew he had gone through a particularly vicious campaign. I knew that he had been ill, and had lost income. But I was unaware that he had grown so disenchanted until I spoke with him.
It bothers him that he has to pick winners and losers. I never thought about it because I'm a prick. But I suppose it's troublesome to good-hearted people who know their rulings are going to make some people unhappy. On top of that, mini-judges, as I like to call them, are the Rodney Dangerfields of our judicial system. They may wear the black robe, but only rarely get the respect they deserve. In many cases, it is the magisterial district judge, sitting on the front lines, that keeps our system from erupting into chaos.
I often think of John Gombosi on Bethlehem;s south side, who approached his duties with common sense, humility and humor. He kept the South Side of Bethlehem from breaking out into riots.
The same is true in Nazareth with Elmo Frey, a great judge who had all the Gombosi qualities. He could still be sitting on the bench, but the truancies got to him. He could not understand why no one from Children and Youth was coming to the hearings. He invited me to come for an afternoon of hearings in the slate belt, so I could see things for myself. I'm ashamed to say I forgot.
But this is precisely the kind of person who needs to be on the bench. A person with both knowledge and compassion. Fortunately, Tidd received a large number of phone calls from constituents and his colleagues asking him to reconsider.
Below is his statement.
I recently announced that I was going to be resigning my position of Magisterial District Judge. I was fortunate enough to have been re-elected last year and began my second term in January of this year.
My decision to resign was based upon purely personal issues. When my intended resignation was announced, I am gratified to say that I received an upwelling of support from my constituency as well as professional colleagues, all of whom urged me to reconsider my decision.
I have done so. I have rescinded my resignation and intend to continue with my duties. Upon reflection, and especially upon consideration of the comments of my professional colleagues, I believe I have an obligation to the citizens who elected me to honor their wishes and their votes, put aside my personal issues, and continue my public duty.