LETTER: Courts must clearly separate church and state
I have observed Kathleen Prendergast's lawyering skills for 20 years. She is extremely smart and knowledgeable. She treats everyone with dignity, respect, and fairness. Having spent 5 years teaching high school, she understands and communicates well with children, a skill needed in many areas of judging. Using her extensive experience in mediation, she will help litigants and attorneys work together to find solutions to problems rather than treat each other as problems. By remaining calm, clarifying issues, reducing animosity, focusing on children's needs, and exploring options and their ramifications, she will give litigants and lawyers skills to solve problems themselves, reducing the likelihood of future court involvement. Prendergast's mediation skills will help her settle more cases and narrow and define issues in cases that are litigated, enabling her to handle more cases, issue quicker decisions, and devote adequate time to complex cases.
For the foreseeable future, York County Courts will be short staffed, due to mandatory retirements and the chronic unwillingness of our legislators and governors to appoint temporary judges to fill vacancies. Chris Menges, aged 64, must retire in 5 years, leaving another vacancy, higher judicial caseloads, and longer delays for litigants. Menges selfishly seeks office knowing the problem he is creating and misleadingly saying that the judicial mandatory retirement age will be increased. Menges campaigns for "a return" to the Judeo-Christian foundation of the court, ignoring the Constitutional separation of church and state. Judges must follow the law, not their own religious beliefs, and must treat everyone equally regardless of religion. In recently renaming his firm "Trinity," Menges is either calculatingly using God as a marketing tool or arrogantly implying that his behavior is so perfect that it would be endorsed by the Holy (Christian) trinity. Vote for Prendergast and Flannelly, NOT Menges.
JOANNE B. KEHR