Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
January 7th, 2011

Leave village of liberty court alone

The Village of Liberty has run out of money and its Mayor along with several of its trustees wants the Town to take over court operations in an effort to save the municipality money.

Without a doubt the Village of Liberty needs to consolidate into the township, and while Mayor Richard Winters’ request might seem to have merit, the two departments that must stay intact is the Police Department and its Justice Court.

Winters is in a rush job to rid the Village of its Justice Court, because he claims the window of opportunity to do so is before this year’s March elections when the justice position is up for election.

If Winters is so concerned about the Village and its finances, why he is stopping with the Village Court? Winters forgets to tell us that he is up for reelection in March as are two Trustees. Why doesn’t he propose the village merge into the Township to save taxpayers real money?

Winters urgency to dissolve the Village Court is just a smoke screen to hide the real problems facing the municipality.

He cites a $24,000 deficit as a valid reason for dissolving the justice court. But in reality, the balance sheet of the court is in the red because outstanding fines have not been collected. And, Village personnel from other departments use the court’s business machines while the court is charged for the total expense.

Winters and his supporters also neglect to mention the Court received a $30,000 grant for the construction of offices on the first floor of the municipal building. If the court is dissolved, the grant will be cancelled.

Town and Village Justices comprise approximately two third of the sitting Judges in the New York State Unified Court System. Justice courts are a creature of Statute and for over 150 years have been the courts closest to the people. The local court shares the responsibility of administering justice along with local police departments. You simply cannot have one without the other.

The Village of Liberty has been cited by defense counsel and prosecutors alike as having an exemplary court in terms of knowledge of the law, sense of justice and compassion.

The office of court administration has repeatedly stated courts are not in the business to make money. If that were the case, courts would impose maximum fines and provide us with bad justice. No court in the state is in a money making proposition

The painful truth is that the Village of Liberty has three to four times the cases of the Town.

In reality, the Town would need additional clerks, office space, as well as additional funding to operate with the added caseloads if they were to take over the Village Court system.

The Village Police Department needs a court to function as efficiently as it has. The Village must keep its police force and court intact even if it were eventually to dissolve and merge into the Township.

Shutting down the Village Court is a very dangerous move – hopefully the village electorate will agree.

1 comment to Leave village of liberty court alone

  • Ernesto M. Salvatico Jr.

    How are you Bill? I, read your write up on the liberty court issue, as I, see it, you are right on target. Thank you for your true concern, of the tax payers. Please, keep up your good reporting on the isses that are on the minds of people that know how to run things. good luck, and stay well. _______Ernesto M. Salvatico Jr.