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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hassett to Propose Eliminating Housing Court Judge Slot to be Vacated by Taveras

City Councilman Terrence M. Hassett, Ward 12, responded today to reports that Housing Court Judge Angel Tavares is considering a run for Mayor.  If Mr. Tavares decides to become a candidate for elected office, he must resign his judgeship.            

In the event Mr. Tavares vacates his position to run for mayor, Hassett stated that in a cost cutting measure he will introduce legislation to eliminate one housing court judgeship.

Hassett, the City Council’s Majority Leader, said that the Housing Court is not a busy court and cases can best be handled by the two remaining judges. He stated that the city could save nearly $60,000 with the elimination of the post.  Hassett also proposes a review of the case load for this fiscal year, and that the City Council should consider culling another judge from the payroll if it is determined that the caseload does not justify the post.

“The city needs to continue to cut costs and this is one additional way to accomplish that,” Hassett said.  “Should this position become vacant, I will advocate that it remain vacant and not funded.”

Hassett said that when the Housing Court began it was anticipated that three judges would suffice.  But, recent reports on caseloads issued by the Internal Auditor reflect there is an insufficient caseload to justify three judges.