Saving costs and personnel

The OBSERVER's view

Merging of municipal courts does not need to be problematic. In fact, the village of Brocton and town of Portland are already utilizing this practice.

With courts in 27 towns, 13 villages and two cities, that is a major burden on the Chautauqua County district attorney’s office. Patrick Swanson, county district attorney, knows the benefits of court partnerships.

“From my office’s perspective, Mina and French Creek meet on different nights of the week. We have the same prosecutor handling both. It means it’s one less day a month a junior (assistant district attorney) would have to go handle a court’s calendar,” he said. “When combining two days to one because the case load is so small, it’s a benefit to our office. When smaller towns look to save on resources, it isn’t going to tax us more.”

Mina and French Creek will be discussing plans on Monday. Anything that can cut costs in the private sector — and the courts are an easy target — deserve consideration.

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