Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Possible Solution to District Judge Crisis

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has approved a magisterial realignment that consolidates two districts in the northwestern tier of Northampton County. But it will force two sitting District Judges - Diane Marakovits and Robert Hawke - to square off in a run-off election. District Judges have proposed an alternative plan. This one eliminates the seat held by District Judge Joseph Barner, who plans to retire. But it greatly inconveniences Bethlehem Township, Colonial Regional and Upper Nazareth police. President Judge Stephen Baratta has suggested it is a gerrymander. But there's a possible solution in the works.

Diane Marakovits, who presides over one of the districts being consolidated, could simply move into Barner's district when he retires and assume his duties by temporary assignment while she establishes the residency required. Several sources close to District Judges report that Marakovits is considering that option, though she has not been contacted at this point. I will try to do so today.  

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who is this a solution for? Marakovics?

This story gets worse and worse. MDJs are elected by their local residents for a reason and this is the latest end run around elections.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that these folks are so unemployable in the real world that they will do just about anything to continue to suck off the public tit.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean the new plan will finance Marakovit's relocation at public expense?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. But if the district is kept intact and Marakovits relocates to it, doesn't that solve the problem?

Anonymous said...

Are we conceding that there was a problem for anyone other than Hawke and Marakovits in the first place?

But yes, it is a better solution that districting out Barner's office. I wasn't aware our only options were ones that insure all sitting judges continue to maintain their office... or someone elses office in this case. Thats starting to become clear now.

I'll be sure not to vote for anyone involved in making this "temporary" appointment a reality. Unless my vote is somehow stripped away from that election too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Part of the problem here is that the Supreme Court stressed that the realignment avoid a run-off election, it possible. Those judges are elected to serve, and stripping them of their jobs before their term is over is also an affront to those who elected them. So it is not as black and white as it seems. I agree that the first priority must be the convenience of the public, followed by police officers and then the judges. I believe the plan already approved accomplishes that, except in Pen Argyl. (Officers there must go to Bangor instead of Wind gap). I believe that, if Marakovits goes to BT, and it is legal, it will be as close to perfect as it can be.

Anonymous said...

Al this is fine. Once in Bethlehem Twp. to keep her "job", she will face an election eventually and many will vote for whomever runs against her.

Problem solved. Also a message sent to the other lifetime tit suckers.

Anonymous said...

If Marakovits stays where she is, she is popular enough to defeat Hawke in an election. She is making quite the sacrifice by relocating to a district where no one knows her. Then there is no guarantee she will win re-election against a more popular local candidate and there is a long list of those. Again, all of this could have been eliminated had someone in the Courts Heirarchy done their job. This issue has been around for more than four years and probably closer to five or maybe six years. Several magistrates have retired since then and re-districting could have been accomplished without a hardship to the incumbents. Who was at the helm in Northampton county when all of this occured (look at the date when the Supreme Court handed down this directive)and who was in charge of the Magistrates? They certainly dropped the ball.

Anonymous said...

The "Marakovits" name carries no weight or name recognition in Bethlehem Township and Lower Nazareth Township. Not sure she could win a reelection there.

Anonymous said...

Why this is a perfect solution!

Those in the ruling class get to keep their jobs and the people get to be represented by a government-approved carpetbagger.

Hopefully our leaders in Washington will get wind of this and start appointing all of our elected officials in this manner. Then we the people won't have to worry about all those messy elections.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said:

"...stripping them of their jobs before their term is over is also an affront to those who elected them."

This has nothing to do with the people who elected them, as those voters will still be losing their district as currently configured and likely the person they voted for. More importantly, the position is being lost because the workload is no longer sufficient to justify it.

This is about trying to keep elected officials in their cushy jobs.

After all, why should those receiving a government paycheck ever have to fear the same threat of job loss that those paying their salaries have to fear?

Anonymous said...

Bernie said:

"...stripping them of their jobs before their term is over is also an affront to those who elected them."

A run off election will be held and the voters for the newly formed district will have their say who the victor will be. Somebody unfortunately will lose. I don't see how this will be an affront to the electorate. The only one affronted will be the one losing their job.

Anonymous said...

It's called and ELECTION...somebody wins...somebody loses.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why this is a perfect solution!"

I did not say it was a perfect solution, but is as close to perfect as it can be. The DJs did themselves no favors over the way this was handled, and I always think it is a mistake to shut out the public. On the other hand, I see no reason why Marakovits or Hawke should be forced out of office before their terms are over when another Judge is retiring. They are both good judges. I do understand the anger.

Anonymous said...

This is like the Ross Marcus problem. The law is clear and no money should go to CACLV but both Mr. Stoffa and County Council are ignoring the law. So who is representing the electorate that voted in people to create the law?