Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Hellertown-Lower Saucon DJ Candidates' Night
Hellertown Public Library was the venue last night for a debate among three candidates seeking the Magisterial District Judge in Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township.Nearly 50 people attended the one and only time that all three will appear together before Election Day on May 19. The event was hosted by Northampton County's League of Women Voters. After five years on the job, Judge Tidd easily demonstrated that he is the most knowledgeable. Attorney Amanda Kurecian, who is absolutely beautiful when she smiles, was also very impressive. Repyneck was what I expected and ended the event with the cheap shot that he would restore integrity and honor to the office, something he claimed without explanation to be "severely lacking" now.
Repyneck, who initially said No to the debate, decided on Friday that he needed to be there. He packed the house with as many of his supporters as he could find. People like Lanita Lum insisted on carrying on conversations with other audience members while Beverly Hernandez and Joan Dean from the LWV attempted to explain the format.
When Hernandez complained about questions that were addressed to just one and not all candidate, Repyneck's rowdies began loudly complaining. "This is what to expect from the League of Women Voters," complained either Lum or the woman aside her, who sarcastically told me after it was all over that she could not wait to blog about it.
During the evening, Repyneck incorrectly claimed that he can charge for weddings, although he claimed he would give his fee to charity. Tidd corrected that inaccuracy. Repyneck also claimed inaccurately that attorneys who become district judges still have to go through part of the certification course that will be required of Repyneck if he wins. That is also untrue, Tidd observed, although there is a requirement of continuing education.
When it was pointed out that the certification course for a magisterial district judge is quite difficult, Repyneck boasted has has gone through more stress than either of his opponents.
"I would invite Mr. Repyneck to take the bar exam," retorted Tidd.
Kurecian observed that Repyneck, if elected, could only be tested twice. If he failed a second time, there would have to be a special election. .
When asked about what kind of service organizations they participate in, Kurecian stated she is involved in a dog rescue group, helps coach volleyball and does pro bono work as an attorney. Tidd stated he is involved in the Saucon Valley Community Center, the relay for life and provides between $25,000 and $35,000 in free bankruptcy services every year. Repyneck belongs to the Sportsman's Association and is a merit m=badge instructor.
Repyneck at one point stated he is a big defender of the second amendment and a well-regulated militia. I'm not sure what his point was, but there it is.
He repeatedly referred to himself as Diane Repyneck's cousin. She is a former magisterial District Judge. She did not attend, and has remained neutral in this race.
When asked about making unpopular decisions, Repyneck pointed to an instance in the military when he dropped the dime on fellow officers who claimed falsely that they had taken their fitness tests. The officers were reprimanded, claimed Repyneck. Kurecian stated that her pro-life support sometimes makes her unpopular. Tidd stated he makes unpopular decisions in his court room every day. Somebody loses.
Candidates were also asked for suggestions on improving the magisterial district judge system. Tidd stated the biggest problem is the lack of security for members of the public and his won staff. He 'd also like the County to start making credit card payments possible, and would like the state to agree with expanded hours.
Kurecian would like to see night courts, problem solving courts and more pro bono lawyers.
Repyneck agreed with his opponents and added the position should be full-time. That position is also supported by Kurecian, but not Tidd, who maintains a private practice in Hellertown. But he stressed that his first obligation is to clear the court's calendar for the day, whether that takes one hour or eight hours.