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 Vermont News: Side Judge Tsouris - To the Editor,

VermontTo the Editor,
William Boardman
Windsor County Assistant Judge
Woodstock, VT

In your December 21 edition, the Assistant Judge-elect who will take office on February 1, writes a lengthy but largely inaccurate letter characterized by a tone unchanged from the vituperative campaign that presumably ended on election day.

He begins by falsely implying that all county decisions are mine alone, which would be news to Assistant Judge Ken Cooper, who has been a good and reliable collaborator on all significant county decisions during the past eight years. Further, he ignores the participation of the county clerk and courthouse staff in many if not most decisions.

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The judge-elect is completely wrong in his assertions about a lack of competitive bidding or a purchase and sales agreement, and he is arguably wrong about planning and communication, for both of which there is ample documentation over more than a decade. In any event, he has made no effort to confer with the side judges or other county officials to confirm facts before voicing fallacious opinions.

He is correct that he was not invited to take part in the county budget process this year, as he has no authority to do so and none of the past four judges-elect, including myself, have been treated any differently. Also, this judge-elect has not asked to be included (except in the media), nor even inquired about any aspect of the budget. And even though we were chatting with anyone who approached us at the November budget hearing, he avoided talking to any of the four county officials available.

The judge-elect has a rather paranoid version of the budget hearing schedule. The budget hearings are scheduled as early as they are, at some inconvenience to the county, in response to a request several years ago from Windsor County towns who wanted to have the county information early in their own budget deliberations.

One wonders why a judge-elect would go out of his way to offend people with whom he will be expected to work cooperatively and collegially after February 1 in the public interest. Fortunately there is still time for him to figure out how to meet his future obligations of fact-finding, consensus-building, and judiciousness.

William Boardman
Windsor County Assistant Judge

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