State Rep. Anthony DeVitis deserves credit for listening to constituents and taking to heart their concerns. Problems surfaced in his response, hastily attaching a provision to the House version of the state budget bill. Now the Green Republican rightly has thought again and requested that legislative leaders remove his proposal to add a second juvenile judge in Summit County.
DeVitis heard from the Summit County Foster Parents Association, its members highlighting what they view as increasingly complex cases proceeding more slowly through the juvenile court. DeVitis responded in what seemed a logical way: Add another judge to help carry the load.
The trouble is, that is one view. A decision to add a judge requires a more thorough assessment, and shouldn’t be rushed to enactment as an amendment to a massive budget bill.
In response, Judge Linda Teodosio produced numbers showing that her court has been moving cases at a pace that fares well by comparison with other courts. She has been widely applauded for the quality of her work. County leaders raised questions about the value in spending an additional $300,000 or more for a second judge, especially when budgets are tight.
With the withdrawal of his proposal, DeVitis has made way for all of the arguments to be aired, the county in position to weigh carefully the merits of adding to the juvenile bench.