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Port Chester Considers Need for a Third Judge

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — A plan to spend $40,000 to hire a third judge was debated as the Port Chester Board of Trustees held a budget work session Wednesday with the Village Justice Department.

The Justice Department will need another judge to help process the anticipated increase in building code enforcement cases as the village brings its crumbling infrastructure up to code, Village Manager Chris Russo said.

Village Justice Matthew Troy said the department does not need a third justice now but will soon.

“Does the work today require three judges? No, but there will come a time when that happens," Troy said. "We have to be prepared because it could explode overnight, and once the cycle gets going, it's like a snowball rolling down a hill."

The recommended budget proposes an increase of $80,000 in personnel services for the Justice Department in 2012-13 and an overall increase of $100,000.

According to Russo, the addition of a third judge would account for about $40,000 in spending, with another $40,000 for part-time court clerks. The discussion centered on whether a justice could be added in a tight budget.

Ultimately, the board did not reach a decision. It has until May 1 to decide on the position and all other matters pertaining to the 2012-13 budget.

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