Judicial Candidates Speak At GOP Dinner
Amidst a crowd of almost 110 area residents and officials, four judicial candidates for the Fulton/ Franklin County Court of Common Pleas had their first opportunity to jointly speak about their campaigns for office, shared values and ongoing dedication to the judicial system.
First to take the podium during the annual Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Fulton County Council of Republican Women Saturday evening, full-time Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Angela Rosenberry Krom told to the crowd at the McConnellsburg Firehall her position as prosecutor is aptly referred to as the "fence between the foxes and chickens." As a result, her career dedicated to the people has been in the capacity of law enforcement.
"I've always strived to seek justice and do the right thing for the right reasons. That's not something that I just say. That's something that I do," stated Krom, who has worked both in and out of the courtroom on a variety of criminal casework ranging from DUI cases and thefts to armed robberies and rapes.
Endorsed by Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson, Krom, a Franklin County native, noted, "I want to be your next judge because I want to do the work that judges do. I recognize that their work is not glamorous but difficult. I realize that for every hour spent in the courtroom they spend many hours outside the courtroom researching, writing and preparing to be on the bench. Judges must be honest, fair and impartial ... I have the skills to be your next judge."
Shawn Meyers, a partner with Steiger, Steiger & Meyers located in Mercersburg, touted his experience in several areas of law, including criminal, family and municipal law. Meyers, whose family roots are tied to the St. Thomas area, mentioned he has been travelling the mountain into Fulton County since 1995, handling cases locally on both a Magisterial District and Court of Common Pleas level.
"No matter the size of the county, what's important is that justice and the benefits of the rights of all citizens are the same," said Meyers. "I have a good viewpoint on the perception there is difference between Franklin and Fulton based on their size, but there is no difference between the citizens and their needs."
Committed to his community as well, Meyers is active in the Mercersburg Rotary Club and formerly served as president, served as legal counsel for the Franklin County Fire Chiefs Association and was a former board member for the Franklin County Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC).
Tim Wilmot, parttime assistant district attorney for Franklin County since 1999, pointed out to those in attendance his campaign goal is simple: "To get the people of Fulton County to know who I am and what I've done to prepare me to be a judge in the Court of Common Pleas."
He further elaborated that criminal and family law, which he has a significant background in, comprises the majority of cases brought before the Court of Common Pleas. Dating back to 1996, he also began serving in the capacity of "master of divorce" in Franklin and Fulton counties, making impartial determinations on the breakdown of economic matters between couples.
Wilmot also detailed his military background, which includes active duty as a U.S. Marine between June 1983 and August 1992, during which time he attained the rank of captain as an aviator. In the area of community involvement, Wilmot has been active in coaching Chambersburg area youths and is a member, deacon and former board chairman of the Salem UB Church. "My faith is personal and guides me ... I recognize the importance of faith in Fulton and Franklin counties. I have no problem with the motto 'In God we trust,' " he concluded.
Having logged over a decade practicing criminal, family and civil law, Waynesboro-based attorney Eric Weisbrod opened his own private practice in 2002. In addition to maintaining his own office, Weisbrod also serves as the special prosecutor for the Fulton County Domestic Relations Office.
"I believe my personal and legal experience and my commitment to community involvement will be an asset as judge in Franklin and Fulton counties," said Weisbrod, who made reference to the life lessons he learned from his mother at a young age following the untimely death of his father. " ... If elected I will take these lessons, trials and tribulations with me to the bench. These particular experiences that I have experienced and overcome have instilled in me the appropriate temperament to preside as judge."
Weisbrod also provides pro bono legal services to several agencies, including Franklin County Legal Services and Franklin County Women in Need. Outside of the courtroom, he donates his services to the Waynesboro Basketball Association and the Waynesboro Stallions Midget Football Association.
On the heels of an announcement before the Fulton County Republican Committee earlier in the week, incumbent Patty Suders Fix announced Saturday she will be seeking re-election to her position as prothonotary, clerk of courts, recorder of deeds, register of wills and clerk of the orphans court. Wishing to secure a fifth term of office, Fix stated she continues to strive as she did in her first term to operate an "efficient, professional and wellorganized office."
Fix pointed out when she originally took office in 1994 she was fortunate enough to have a staff with a combined 35 years of experience. With the recent retirement of Thelma Reed and Neva Houck, Fix stated the job has become even more challenging as she is in a transitional state training new employees within all five offices.
"Even though operating all five offices requires a great deal of responsibility; an enormous amount of legal knowledge dealing with the Pennsylvania rules of criminal and civil procedure, the laws governing the probate of wills, requirements mandated by law in the recording of land transactions; and the late night jury trials ... I can honestly say I still thoroughly enjoy my job and still find it very challenging," Fix said. She concluded due to current economic times she has also stepped up efforts to find methods of saving money within her office while continuing to operate it efficiently.
Waterfall area resident Lisa Mellott Skiles also took the podium to announce her intention to seek the position of Fulton County prothonotary. As in her formal announcement in the "News" last week, Skiles cited her work experience at Letterkenny Army Depot as well as 18 years experience in operating her own business. Through those efforts, Skiles stated she has learned important lessons in accuracy, precision and working with the public.
"I feel that my past and present experiences make me a good candidate," concluded Skiles. "I am dependable, honest and fair ... I feel it would be an honor to serve the community as prothonotary. I would appreciate the community's support and vote in the upcoming election."
Other offices up for grabs
Jury commissioner Glenn "Pete" Ford will be seeking another term of office and stated as result of much hard work and effort, a lot of the jury commissioner work previously sent to Franklin County for completion is now done here in Fulton County.
McConnellsburg-based Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott indicated as an incumbent she will be seeking re-election for another six-year term of office. Mellott stated she strives to do everything she can to be seen as impartial, and her office doors are always open to anyone having questions.
Edgar Yates of Needmore announced he is running for a second four-year term of office as a member of the Southern Fulton School Board. The only school board candidate in the county to speak Saturday, Yates joked that he suffered a few hard knocks during his first round of office, but he knows he can take it.