February 4, 2009

Rell seeks to close Bristol, Meriden courthouses

Gov. John Rowland tried to shut Bristol's courthouse, too, but failed. Maybe Gov. Jodi Rell will have more luck.

Update: Finally found this, buried down in the judicial budget....
Closing the Meriden and Bristol courthouses will save $2.1 million by eliminating funding for 29 positions and associated costs, according to Rell's budget.
Another $438,000 would be saved by axing five public defenders who work at the two courthouses.
The state would also save some money by not having to operate the Bristol court, but I'm not sure how much. That sum is lumped in with a number of others.
I'm not sure why closing courthouses would pare attorney costs either, since the defendants they represent would not be freed. They'd just be shifted to another courtroom.
In any case, I can't find anything at all to justify the closing except for saving money. That's a necessary thing to do, of course, but there ought to be some kind of explanation for why Bristol and Meriden get the hook while other courts remain. There isn't.
A slide show about the governor's budget, prepared by her staff, says that Bristol cases would be handled in New Britain.

Update at 5:30 --

A long-forgotten state law requires the Bristol courthouse remain open at least 40 weeks a year, a measure written into the statute book more than 15 years ago when former House Minority Leader Edward Krawiecki, Jr took the initiative to block earlier talk of shutting the Bristol institution.

However, the law doesn’t specifically require a superior court locally so it’s always possible the state could stick a traffic or small claims court in the space and comply with the law's wordig without leaving much of a judicial footprint in town.

The state tried most recently in 2001 to close the courthouse. The effort was beaten back by the city's legislators and former Mayor Frank Nicastro's administration.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

I wonder when Artie will actualy start acting like a Mayor and make some tough decisions instead of being the Union Rep and setting them all up!

Anonymous said...

No worries - Artie will just buy all the court workers a round at Sporty's like he did with the city employees on Christmas Eve.

Hello, can't be their pal and their boss at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Closing the Courthouse would possibly spur the closing of the Police/Court Complex and Garage which would remove an eyesore from the Center City.

The building is a vacuum for energy costs and maintenance. Someday, Bristol will have a centralized building for public safety that will house police, fire and emergency management. I hope I live long enough to see it.

I also hope that the cane or wheelchair does not come before two new schools that are badly needed in Bristol.

Embarrassed for you said...

1:16/2:54 - Nice...real mature.

Junkies said...

1:16 & 2:54 - as the governor said today, you are entitled to be either a soothsayer and/or a naysayer but you have a responsibility to come forward with a viable alternative.
What part are you having difficulty with - responsibility or viable?

duh said...

What do any of these ridiculous postings have to do with closing of courthouses?

Anonymous said...

Bristol=Waterbury with in 2 years! Boy oh Boy What has Frank did to our city!

Anonymous said...

Frank set the wheel in motion: Artie is keeping it rolling!

I love Bristol, but am getting very discouraged.

Anonymous said...

You're Governor did this .....not Artie.
Someday you will be of some use maybe . But the way you are now I can't see how.

Anonymous said...

Closing Bristol's courthouse may not be so easy. Years ago Ed Krawiecki put through a law that makes that tough to do. Can't remember the exact provisions but it saved the courthouse during past rounds of cuts. You may want to check directly with Ed on this one Steve.

Anonymous said...

Would a Kangaroo Court fulfill the requirement?

Close it down. New Britain is a few miles away and can handle the excess.

speaks for itself said...

here is the choice - the courthouse or our educational system - - no brainer but some of you jerks will continue to demonstrate why you should have paid more attention in kindergarten - idiots.

you-alone said...

1:16pm - ken, stop slamming and breaking doors, do what you have been contracted to do, show up where you are supposed to be and recognize that your transparency is very clear - loser.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how Nicastro spins this one!

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Artie all over this???

Anonymous said...

Because he would have to take a stand. (before he knows the outcome)

Ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

Which hat is Nicastro going to wear, his Council hat, or his Legislator hat, or his campaign hat?