Letter to the Editor: Assessment imperative in selecting the right candidate


The colorful display of candidate awareness and promotional literature springing up across the county is like a second spring with colourful posters, stickers and the like.

Naturally the material presented by each candidate is aimed at displaying their attributes, qualifications, expertise and experience in the best possible light, leaving the general public with the challenge of trying to understand:

1) The requirements of the County Court Judge position, and

2) The alignment of each candidate’s suite of skills against the requirements of the position.

In assessing how voters and the public can be informed some ‘www’ research reveals the existence in NY state of an “Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions” (IJEQC).

It appears there is a well-established framework that provides for all applicants to complete pro forma questionnaires that allow the IJEQC to assess their qualifications and merits. This in turn provides a rating against the established criteria (refer to www.courts.state.ny.us/publications/pdfs/IJEQC-brochure.pdf )

Very clearly this process is intended to provide the voting public with the expert information required to support their evaluation and comparison of candidates such that the best qualified and most suited candidate can be more readily identified by comparison against an independent expert assessment.

Clearly this is exactly what is needed in the Chenango County Court selection process and I have no doubt that the press, the public and the candidates would all align is identifying completion of this assessment and sharing of the outcomes as being an imperative step towards selection of the most appropriate candidate.

The only catch is that it appears this process is voluntary, rather than mandatory, so we are faced with the challenge of ensuring all candidates undertake this process ‘in good faith’ such that they can be seen in the transparent light of being supportive of the NY State system and providing the electorate with the basis for comparison intended.

I look forward to your positive press support that this process is a vital and integral part of the electoral process, and to rigorously apply it as indeed to reflect the intention of the New York State Unified Court System as per the information available from the www.nycourts.gov/judges/ website.

Colin Fraser

Chenango Lake

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