Saturday, April 4, 2009
Westmoreland County Judge
I am supporting Meagan Bilik DeFazio for judge. You can vote for two. Should I support two or just vote for one? Make your case in the comments section.
Posted by Perry Christopher at 7:31 PM
Labels: Westmoreland County
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Perry I respectfully disagree with your support for Megan Bilik-Defazio. The candidate who has the most experience is Michelle Bononi. She has 24 years experience practicing law. She is currently an active, Judically appointed hearing officer with over 5,000 cases heard or tried in Westmoreland County. To put it simply she has been in the family court system and has the experience. Michelle is also very community minded. Volunteering in her community and Westmoreland County for many different organizations. Michelle is also a mother and has very strong convictions. My next candidate is Chris Scherer. Chris has proved that he has been a great public servant - serving as our sheriff of Westmoreland County since 2000. Chris also is community minded volunteering for different organizations. His yearly picnic has proven greatly successful in helping many organizations. He also has worked in the Public Defenders office. Chris is a good family man and would make a great Westmoreland County Judge. Michelle Bononi and Chris Scherer will make two great Westmoreland County Judges. If you could vote for three Harry Smail would be my third choice.
Can some one tell me more about the position on family court? what is the responsibilities and roles of a family court judge?
Perry if you are choosing not to print my comments defending my decisions, then I respectfully request that you take down the comments that are personally attacking me.
I was out of town at a conference. I checked the comments on my blackberry and deleted them by mistake. I did read the comments. I will try to fix it.
In this circumstance, when we seek to elect people to a position that requires fairness and temperament, we need none of that. I, like you, have tried to meet each of the candidates to make my own decision. I find Ms. Bilik Defazio to be bright, articulate and engaging. I am particularly taken by her manner of treating anyone she meets with attention and respect. I see her connect with people on a very human level. She is refreshingly genuine and caring. I know this is about an election and politics. When it comes down to it, it is about our best candidates. We have two to elect and we need to select two good choices. I commend you on choosing a candidate on the merits.
There you go. I think I fixed it. Anyway, try to defend your judicial candidate and not the messenger.
I had to edit anonymous comment to remove the O'Barto "attack" (a mild attack at that). I put the pro-Bilik Defazio comments back in an anonymous post.
I think she has the superior legal mind in this race. Personally, I think she has good values and is fair. What more can you ask for? All the experience in the world can't teach intellect. Bilik Defazio has the intellect to make a very good judge.
So, as I understand it, one issue this position deals with is foster care. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. there are 500,000 kids in the foster care system in the US, 125,000 of those kids are adoptable. I'm not at a place in life yet to participate, but I hope to some day soon.
I was talking with Harry Smail, one of the candidates and I want to pass on his argument.
We need people who are familiar with case law and litigation in family law because, regarding the foster care issue, there is a lot of abuse. People take in foster kids for the cash they receive and then don't care for the kids, but instead, leach off the state. We need some one versed in this issue who will stop the abuse to the kids and the system.
Harry's argument was that he has the experience, and the work in family law to take on the position. Some of the candidates have less then 10 years of experience in the court room and some don't have family law experience and some aren't familiar enough with the case law to handle this and issues like it.
I'm not saying that I'm all goo goo over Harry. I met him today for the first time and I raised this issue because I think it's important. I think his argument was a good one.
There is no guarantee that the new judge will be in family court. If I had my choice (knowing both)and I had to appear in front of family court, I would rather have Bilik DeFazio as the judge than Smail. There is not even a question in my mind about that. Not even the slightest. Don't let that experience argument sway you. Bilik DeFazio has experience, but that is not entirely what you need in a judge. You need intellect, compassion and fairness. That is why I support her.
Now I'm confused. I thought the position was a family court position. Can some one help me understand how the position works if it's not tied to one specific level of the court?
In westmoreland county the judges have split the court into basically three areas. family court, criminal court, and civil court. The least senior judges get put into the area of the court where there is a vacancy. Based on where the existing judges are moving to the opening will be in the family court division. They will only start there. That can change after a short period of time or they can stay there for many years. You need to pick the person that you feel will best serve as a judge. Remember the judge is the impartial person in all of this.
Here's the thing. The more senior judges have until the end of the year to decide if they want to move or not and can change their minds 10 times between now and then, so the new positions that the candidates are running for are for the Court of Common Pleas, not any particular division. Judge Feliciani might wind up staying in Family Court and, in that case, one of these positions will be in Criminal Court.
thanks for the help ... so does anyone have anything to say about the other candidates? perry, what's your hit rate on here? anyone lurking on the blog other then commenters who could add to the conversation?
Has anyone noticed on Bononi's site she lists her dogs as the "loves of her life"...beating out her husband and daughter. Her daughter was listed just above crossword puzzles the page. I don't know her personally but judging from this, she has either hired a poor campaign manager or is simply put, a bad person. Hopefully its the prior.
I am sure Michele Bononi, like all mothers, loves her daughter above all else. That comment just pushed me over the edge. I also support Bononi for Judge. I live with all females, so I a guess I will be voting for all females for judge. If it is family court as Harry Smail says, then I think two mothers and capable attorneys are the way to go.
I think you took the post out of context...obviously she loves her daughter...just the listing of facts on the site seems to be backwards(and i feel kind of funny) and it seems odd that she wouldnt advertise the fact that she has a family, as we have seen in many campaigns.
I don't think so. I think accurately understood the intent of your post.
On Bononi's website where it talks about the dogs, it is written "loves" of her life about the dogs. The quotation marks makes the statement accurate. Meaning (of course) the dogs don't take priority over her daughter. For your two points, 1) She is not a bad person! 2) From what I have seen, her campaign manager seems to be doing a good job getting her name out there.
There really ought to be some level of experience required before one runs for judge.While Ms Bilik-Defazio may be a very nice person,she is one of the least experienced candidates running.Nearly all the other candidates have substantially more legal,courtroom and life experience than Ms.Bilik-Defazio and would be considered much more qualified on an experience basis.
Neither John Marshall nor Earl Warren had been judges before becoming chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. Suing a railroad for damages because a sign was not posted to not be on the tracks when a speeding train is approaching is also not a great qualification for judge (frivolous lawsuit?) but that is in the history of one of the other candidates. What matters is intellect and integrity. She has that. The men running don't really stand out. They seem to be a bunch of guys who want to be judge. That is why I am supporting the women candidates.
I find it very offensive that someone had the nerve to state that my mother loves the dogs more than then me. To the anonymous person, my mother is my best friend and my role model in life. I am so appreciative of everything she has done. She has accomplished so much in life, most importantly being an amazing mother. It is an absolute shame that you don't know her like I do.
Nicole M Bononi, proud to say my mother is Michele G Bononi
I agree with you 100%. I only approved that comment because it is ridiculous and I intended to instantly dispute it. I support your mom for judge.
Thank you so much for all of your support.
Nicole M Bononi
Chris Scherer is by far the worst candidate for judge, possibly in the history of Westmoreland County.
He hasn't been in a courtroom since at least early 1999 before going on a leave of absence from the DA's office to run for Sheriff. Before that, he practiced for about 8 years in all.
Over 50% of the members of the Bar Association who rated him in the Tribune Review survey either gave him a "not recommended" rating or chose not to rank him at all.
His experience is laughable when matched up to the other candidates in this race, all of whom would make superior judges to Scherer.
I'm supporting Smail and Bononi and will admit that there are other excellent candidates out there. However, since the winning candidates will go to Family Court, why not back the two people best experienced in family law? That would be Bononi and Smail.
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