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Endorsements for Nov. 16th runoff

11th November 2013   ·   0 Comments

We say again, as candidates announce for Council and other municipal offices, it would have been nice if the City elections might have been merged with the state/judicial elections below, to save money and our precious time. As it stands, the electorate will be back at the polls in a handful of months for the Mayor’s race. The constancy of elections, however, does not mean that you, the VOTER, has the right to demur from casting his or her ballot this Saturday.

There are important races for Traffic Court, Magistrate, and Juvenile Court, in Orleans and Jefferson, so when the polls open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, we recommend…

Orleans Parish
Judge, Traffic Court: Steve Jupiter

This was a difficult choice for our editors to make. Clint Smith brings experience and an inspirational story, but we could not ignore his opponent’s passion for the job.

Stephen Jupiter demonstrated the most drive to fight for the public. He vows to battle on behalf of those facing the labyrinth process of paying and contesting traffic tickets.

Most particularly, he had the courage to address the lack of judicial review of traffic camera tickets, stating, “Traffic camera-issued tickets deserve the same level of scrutiny and review as tickets issued by police officers. The delays in notification of a violation make it more difficult for the person receiving a ticket to recall the details of an incident, and adversely affects the driver’s ability to challenge the ticket.”

He wants to change that if elected to the Traffic Court, and our editorial board sees that as a worthy reason to vote for Jupiter on Saturday.

Propositions: Vote Yes
East N.O. Neigh. Adv. Comm.
Eastover Neigh. Imprv. & Sec.
Dist. Twinbrook Security District

The first of these puts a $5 fee per year for beautification of New Orleans East, something distinctly lacking since Hurricane Katrina. The other two improve security in surrounding neighborhoods. These are laudable ambitions, and necessary to recovery. Please support.

Magistrate, Criminal District Court: Mark Vicknair

This race had one the best crop of candidates our editors had seen in years. With the principal candidates comparable in experience before the Magistrate Court, the choice came down to Mark Vicknair’s commitment to make the position a full-time, 24/7 effort.

Considering the six-figure salary that this position enjoys, our editors do not believe this is too much to ask of the candidates. Vicknair not only seeks to upgrade the warrant process to make it electronic; his pledge to “be available at all times for the signing of warrants” made all the difference.

Crime never sleeps, as he noted, and often police need warrant applications signed at all hours of the day and night. It was the reason that third-place finisher Morris Reed backed Vicknair in the runoff, and so should you. Only someone who pledges to treat the Magistrate’s position as a full-time job should be considered. Vote Mark Vicknair.

Jefferson Parish
Judge Juvenile Court, Division C:
Barron C. Burmaster

Mr. Burmaster is the clear choice in this race. He enjoys experience in Juvenile Court and his support for the Missouri Plan that would not eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, but would focus on constructive rehabilitation is defining. Burmaster is not trying just to lock up children; he believes in finding the path for them to have a second chance.

This article originally published in the November 11, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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