For those of you who missed it, the following article appeared in the Winter 2015 editon of “From the mayor’s Desk” published by the Village of Brockport.
January 2, 2015 marked an historic moment as Brockport opened the newest court in the State of New York. The village court and the positions of two justices were created by a village board resolution in October 2013; in June 2014 voters elected Bill Andrews Jr and Kent Blair as village justices.
The judges hired court clerks Corey Stepanek and Lynette Lemcke, and court security attendants Chad Book and Kathy Wilson. Both clerks and justices attended the required training during the fall and winter of 2014 for their respective positions.
Where to house village court led the village board on a circuitous journey, as we looked into renting space in various locations within the village in the belief that village hall would be too small to accommodate both the court and village hall employees and services.
Following a visit by court security personnel from the New York State Office of Court Administration in September, the Village was advised that village hall was best equipped to hold court.
We secured the services of architect David Strabel, and our DPW began the work of remodeling village hall. Funds were set aside in the 2014-15 budget for the remodeling, and the court applied for a justice court assistance program (JCAP) grant for furniture and other necessary court purchases.
Hosting a court required reshuffling both personnel and village property. Our inactive village hall records have gone to storage at the Brockport Police Department.
The former records room on the second floor of village hall became the judges’ office. The codes department occupies more spacious quarters in the mayor’s former office, allowing them to be reunited with their property files that had been stored at the police department.
The village clerk and treasurer share an office, and the mayor’s office is now down the hall in the former treasurer’s office. The bathroom off the conference room has been transformed into the court clerks’ office and two new handicapped accessible bathrooms occupy what had been the codes office.
The seating capacity of the village hall conference room, now also the courtroom, has been increased from 49 to 74.
“I believe we are lucky to have such a great group of talented staff within our DPW department,” commented Judge Blair. “They performed the renovations to accommodate the new court space and it looks fantastic.”
Judge Andrews offered the following thoughts on the new court. “I’ve watched everyone pull together. Village staff worked hard under ‘Foreman Emeritus’ John LaPierre to build and equip the court in time for the first session.” [Trustee LaPierre volunteered to oversee the project.]
“Although we have much to learn, court staff have developed into a cohesive team. I’ve worked with a lot of remarkable people in my career but am truly impressed by the dedication and professionalism I’ve seen in Judge Blair and our Clerks, Corey and Lynette. I look forward to helping the court be-come an asset to the village and community and I say to village residents that your court is in good hands.”
Brockport Village Court Schedule
Fridays at 2 p.m.
February 13, 20, 27
March 6, 13, 20, 27
April 3, 10, 17, 24
May 1, 8, 15, 22
June 5, 12, 19, 26
July 10, 17, 24, 31