Letter, Opinion

I’m running for assistant judge

Dear Editor,

I am running as an Independent for Rutland County assistant judge in the November election. I believe the office should be nonpartisan and as apolitical as possible, so that is why I’m running as an Independent. I will not seek or accept any campaign contributions.

I’ve failed at retirement since I left Castleton at the end of 2017. I have worked since then in Wolk Leadership, mentoring new leaders and coaching experienced ones, as well as doing leadership searches and strategic planning for school boards. I have now limited my work to mentoring and coaching.

Serving the public as an assistant judge is another form of public service that appeals to me as someone who strives to be independent and impartial. Now completing 48 years in education and government, and in other forms of public service, this is a logical extension of my public service life. I have served on over 40 boards and commissions, and I’ve served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, superintendent (twice in Rutland, but 26 years apart), commissioner of education, and president of Castleton University (for 16 years). I also served as a Rutland County senator from 1988-1992.

Assistant judges sit as finders of fact in civil and family court in non jury trials alongside the presiding Superior Court judge, and are often referred to as side judges. With additional training, they sit by themselves as hearing officers in the Judicial Bureau and sit alone to hear uncontested divorce proceedings. They also oversee the county courthouse budget, allocate funding to the Sheriff’s Department, and handle other county affairs.

I would strive to uphold high standards of judicial conduct, exhibiting judicial temperament and integrity so that the public has unbridled confidence in the judges that they elect. An independent, impartial and fair judiciary is what Vermonters deserve.

I was born and raised in Rutland and I have never ventured too far over the years because I have a deep love for Rutland and the people who live here. I have considered thousands of former students and colleagues over these many years to be members of my family, and I would want to continue that abiding love for Rutland and its citizens in this new role. Now in my 70th year, I still have so much to learn and so much to give.

Dave Wolk,

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