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#900267 --- 10/17/08 11:25 AM Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4947
Loc: Fourth Estate
Ex-judge questions race

GENEVA — Former City Court supervising judge Walter C. Gage, in a letter to the editor in today’s Times, criticizes city Democrats for forcing an election for a city judge seat this fall.

Gage, who retired at the end of 2007, said Assistant City Judge Elisabeth A. “Lisa” Toole has been an outstanding judge for 11 years and deserves to be unopposed.

Toole, a Republican like Gage, is being challenged by Democrat Bram S. Lehman. Lehman was appointed to serve as the city’s third judge by Mayor Stu Einstein, a Democrat, in February.

Toole was appointed by former Mayor Joanne Wisor to a six-year term in the third judge position in 1997; she was reappointed by Mayor Donald Cass to a new six-year term in 2004.

Gage said city residents should be asking themselves why there is a contested election for city court this year.

“Judge Toole has been an outstanding judge in the community for 11 years. She is highly respected by law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, court staff, those watching the court, defense attorneys and the public,” Gage wrote.

“In spite of this, an opponent has been nominated to try and unseat Judge Toole,” Gage wrote.

He called Lehman an opponent who had never been in city court before his appointment by Einstein and who had to delay taking the bench for a month while he was mentored by Toole.

Gage called the election a “brazen, calculated political attempt to dump someone of Judge Toole’s character and integrity.”

Toole said she is pleased with Gage’s support, noting that he was her supervising judge for 10 years.

She didn’t want to address Gage’s objections to her facing an opponent, but said Lehman initially indicated he would not run against her.

“I was surprised when I found out he was running for the position,” she said.

Lehman said he initially didn’t want to run against Toole but changed his mind after serving as judge the past several months.

Einstein said the Democratic Committee was not involved in his decision to appoint Lehman and would not be involved in future appointments.

He said the party committee had the choices of supporting a candidate or not participating in the race.

“They made the obvious decision, which I don’t think anyone can fault,” Einstein said, adding that he has not gotten any public comments about the city judge election or his appointment.

By DAVID L. SHAW / Finger Lakes Times
Friday, October 17, 2008 10:02 AM CDT

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#900282 --- 10/17/08 11:55 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: newsman38]
oops12 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3924
Loc: Absent
I'm sure I speak for many people when I say that Lisa Toole is an outstanding person, not only as a judge but attorney as well. When I was a single mother of two children. My son's father brought me to court for custody to get out of paying child support. He made a lot more money than I. She really went to bat for me and would not allow him to intimidate or strong-arm me. She was absolutely excellent!!
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'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'

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#900452 --- 10/17/08 05:01 PM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: oops12]
Qwill Pen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/17/08
Posts: 821
Loc: New York
She may be and probably is, an excellent judge and attorney. But we are all still being told "this is a free country". It is attitudes that an elected person should stay in office until they drop in their tracks is part of what is wrong with the system. Why shouldn't new people run for office and present new and perhaps differing styles and ideas? I don't see the city judge as cut in stone and I think there is already too much (way tooooo much) of the "good ol' boy/girl" type of attitude around this city.

I also think Gage likes too much to dictate what everyone should think. Must be from his days as judge.

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#900670 --- 10/17/08 09:29 PM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Qwill Pen]
Shalom Offline
Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 71
Loc: geneva new york
I won't pretend to know anything about politics but I would like to say that - unfortunately for me - I had to be in City Court yesterday and had my first view of Judge Lisa Toole. I must say, I was so impressed with her that I actually called the Court office later in the day to state my opinion. She was respectful of every individual, very pleasant and had a smile for everyone, regardless of the charge, their appearance, etc., she was open to comments, she was very fair. I just cannot say enough. I have been in similar City Courts and usually the Judge is impatient, rude, and arrogant. She was a refreshing change! People make mistakes and she certainly seemed to understand and accept that.

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#902952 --- 10/23/08 01:25 PM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Shalom]
Geneva_grl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 1313
Loc: G-Town
While I agree with all that you say regarding Lisa Toole, she was not elected to her current position as City Court Judge. If she is the best person for the job, it will be reflected when she is VOTED in. That is what Democracy is all about.

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#903158 --- 10/23/08 05:59 PM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: newsman38]
metsno1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 738
Loc: Geneva
I support Lisa Toole 100%. She's an outstanding person and has earned my vote through conscientious and capable work.

But Judge Gage has missed the boat on this one. Using his logic, any competent incumbent (OK, yeah, so maybe in most cases it's an oxymoron) should simply be reappointed without bothering to go through the election process. Suggesting that an incumbent has "earned the right" to stay in any elected position without threat of being deposed through the electoral process because of your personal perception of the quality of their work reeks of cronyism and is, at its core, dangerous. I happen to agree with Judge Gage that Judge Toole's work has been exemplary, and we owe her our gratitude. But we do not owe her the position of City Judge without a full public referendum, complete with an alternate choice. In other words, an election.

While I doubt he intended to do so, Judge Gage has essentially publicly reinforced the notion that perhaps-just perhaps-the good ol' boy mentality in Geneva is alive and well.


Edited by metsno1 (10/23/08 06:03 PM)

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#903441 --- 10/24/08 07:33 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: metsno1]
LittleKing Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 168
I think Gage's point was that the Democrats could have cross-endorsed Judge Toole and then appointed her opponent to the third judge position. That way, she'd have moved up, the new guy would get to keep his job and everything would be nonpartisan instead of party politics.

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#903452 --- 10/24/08 08:07 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: LittleKing]
jello_biafra Offline
Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 215
Loc: geneva ny
Shes a great judge and an even better person.

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#903487 --- 10/24/08 09:10 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: jello_biafra]
Qwill Pen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/17/08
Posts: 821
Loc: New York
I wouldn't for a minute dispute that she is a good person and a good judge.

But I would dispute Gage telling us essentially that we should have diverted the democratic process of people running for the office they seek.

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#903587 --- 10/24/08 10:49 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Qwill Pen]
Laurence Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 123
Loc: New York, USA
One would wonder if the 'good ole boy' network in Geneva includes insisting that a new employee be a democrat and acting accordinging if it isn't. Does the 'controlling' party have the right to dictate that their party choses employees?

Speaking of irrational behavior, the Democratic party refused to endorse Mayor Cass - - even though he was a two term mayor - - something that had not happened in a very long time....and put up someone to oppose him. Did anyone ever ask why?

The Democratic party in Geneva is a reflection of what is going on state-wide, and nationally - - a pit-bull mentally of attacks, partisanship, in your face politics with the last consideration being what is good for the city, state or country. We can look forward to much much more of the same after election day if the 'polls' and the media choice are 'winners."

".....for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." – Winston Churchill

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#903764 --- 10/24/08 04:15 PM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Laurence]
metsno1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 738
Loc: Geneva
Originally Posted By: Laurence
One would wonder if the 'good ole boy' network in Geneva includes insisting that a new employee be a democrat and acting accordinging if it isn't. Does the 'controlling' party have the right to dictate that their party choses employees?




No, they don't. And even if they did, the ethical thing to do is hire the best candidate regardless of political affiliation.

Originally Posted By: Laurence
Speaking of irrational behavior, the Democratic party refused to endorse Mayor Cass - - even though he was a two term mayor - - something that had not happened in a very long time....and put up someone to oppose him. Did anyone ever ask why?


Did anyone ever ask? Uh, yeah, I think they did. And that question was answered over and over and over again. There is absolutely nothing irrational about a political party deciding that they want to support another candidate. You can support Don or any other incumbent all you want, and I wouldn't blame you if you did. That's your right. But it's not appropriate to suggest that just because someone "was a two term mayor," or that it "had not happened in a very long time," that the decision not to support them is irrational. It's actually the responsible thing to do when the majority of the people on the committee no longer feel comfortable supporting the incumbent.

Originally Posted By: Laurence
The Democratic party in Geneva is a reflection of what is going on state-wide, and nationally - - a pit-bull mentally of attacks, partisanship, in your face politics with the last consideration being what is good for the city, state or country. We can look forward to much much more of the same after election day if the 'polls' and the media choice are 'winners."


Wow. This is clearly one of the most one-sided perspective I've seen recently. If you're suggesting that the Democrats are the only ones with "pit-bull (mentality) of attacks, partisanship, (and) in your face politics," then your credibility is long gone.

Among many other things, Sarah Palin is a self-proclaimed pit bull (='s hockey mom without the lipstick, right?), and last I checked, she wasn't a Democrat.



Edited by metsno1 (10/24/08 04:16 PM)

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#904164 --- 10/25/08 06:22 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Geneva_grl]
Sweetcakes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3031
Loc: Southeast of Disorder
I dont think she'll have a problem being elected. GG youll get to meet her very soon.....lol

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#904181 --- 10/25/08 07:49 AM Re: Ex-Judge Criticizes Geneva Democrats [Re: Sweetcakes]
Geneva_grl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 1313
Loc: G-Town
I didn't say that she would have a problem being elected. I just think that a retired judge shouldn't have made the statements that he made. We do live in a Democratic society, not a dictatorship, and since Lisa was never elected to the position, only appointed, this is a fair way to go with an election.

I know I will meet her very soon. Only a weeek to go! Yikes!

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