Court dissolution vote
March 17, 2017


To the editor:

On March 21, the voters of the village of Lake Placid will have an opportunity to dissolve their village court and combine it with the town of North Elba Court.

This move is recommended by the Government Center for Research and the Lake Placid / North Elba Community Development Commission. You can find more information on the Commission website:

The Development Commission urges all voters to express their view and vote. As you do so please consider the following:

Points to consider

If the village court is dissolved the justice system for the town and village will change:


-2 People filling 4 judicial positions (2 town + 2 village justice positions)

-2 Court clerks

-2 criminal court sessions with jurisdiction limited to town cases

-2 criminal court sessions with jurisdiction limited to village cases


-2 People filling 2 judicial positions (2 town justice positions)

-2 Court clerks

-4 criminal court sessions with jurisdiction over both town and village cases

This will result in:

-A reduction in government spending

-Elimination of duplicate Justice Software Programs

-Elimination of duplicate phone systems

-Elimination of salary for duplicate positions

-Estimated savings (according to the Village Treasurer) of $43,000 per year

-A fairer tax system

-Village residents support the village court then, because they are also residents of the town, they support the town court. Town residents only support the town court. With a consolidated system each resident would pay their fair share of the single town court system

-This fairer approach is already used for the shared services of fire districts and the code enforcement office

-More efficient scheduling of cases

-Shorter time periods between appropriate criminal court sessions will allow cases to move forward more quickly

-No confusion over which court to attend

-Cases involving charges in both the town and the village are automatically consolidated

The dissolution should occur at this time because:

-The next opportunity for dissolution will not occur until 2021

-The town and village have been operating with 2 individuals holding a total of 4 justice positions for one year without complications. This move will simply create a situation where 2 people hold 2 positions.

-A system with two town justices is used virtually everywhere else in the State of New York

-Other state aid funds (AIM program) are tied to municipalities consolidating services

Dean Dietrich

Lake Placid


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