Republicans in the town of Batavia will head to the polls Tuesday to choose their pick for town justice, according to the Daily News. Roger Muehlig put together a solid, straight-to-the-facts piece on the contenders: Thomas Williams and Dennis Rider.
Williams, 48, is a Batavia native who has a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. He is married and works in a law practice with his father in the city.
Rider, 55, is a Genesee Community College graduate who worked in security at GCC, then spent 10 1/2 years as a Genesee County sheriff's deputy before becoming a city police officer in 1987.
Williams already occupies the justice position. He was appointed in March when Joseph Filio retired. Rider is still a police officer but plans to retire whether or not he wins the primary. Williams is also listed on the Conservative line, so he will be an option in the general election regardless of the outcome of the primary.
Genesee County's proposed 2009 budget "for the county's self-insured workers compensation program" could go up 8 percent to $1.8 million. That an increase would mean about $60,000 more coming from "participating governments and school districts." I would suggest checking out the article by Paul Mrozek for the details on this. It's a complex topic—for me, at least. That increase in contributed funds does not necessarily mean an increase from all contributing parties. Batavia City Schools, for example, will contribute $750 less, while Pembroke will contribute $13,000 more.
All of the school districts and municipalities in the county are members of the plan, with the exception of the city of Batavia. The city withdrew from the program several years ago.
Each government and school district is assigned an "assessment," which is the amount of money it contributes toward the compensation fund.
A local veterans group is looking for ways to better assist veterans returning from the war in Iraq who may "run afoul of the law." Hal Kreter, director of the Genesee County Veterans Service, wants to look at setting up a "veterans diversion initiative" that would work much the same way as a drug court. Mrozek writes:
The goal of drug court ... is to provide a criminal defendant the opportunity to resolve a case by getting treatment for substance abuse. If the defendant is successful in rehabilitation, the judge has the option of reducing the underlying criminal chrages.
Kreter said the veterans returning from active service "are overmedicating themselves with alcohol and drugs" and often end up doing "something stupid." Many of them may suffer from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder.
One of the key components of Kreter's proposal is to provide the defendants with a mentor who also has seen active duty. Most combat veterans will only trust other combat veterans.
Hopefully we will see more information about this in coming months and maybe even see if some progress is made.
Another neighborhood clean-up has been scheduled for Saturday, September 13, from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the property of an elderly woman at 14 Warren St. Volunteers from God's Helping Hands/Project Hope will be on hand to remove debris from the yard. Anyone can join. Pauly's Pizza will provide refreshments for all the workers.
As always, we encourage you to get out and pick up a copy of the Daily News wherever they are sold. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.