In the May 19 primary election, three candidates for district judge for Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township (Magisterial District 03-2-04) will appear on the Republican and Democratic ballots: Incumbent District Judge David W. Tidd, Amanda Kurecian and David Repyneck.
Saucon Source requested that each candidate submit a position statement that includes information about about why they’re running for office along with information about their background, educational/professional experience, involvement in community affairs and volunteer experience. Each candidate was also asked to answer this question: What do you believe is the most important issue facing the district judiciary and how do you plan to address it if elected?
The responses from the three candidates follow in alphabetical order:
As a Hellertown native and local attorney I am uniquely qualified to be your next magisterial district judge.
In 1989, I moved to Hellertown. I attended St. Theresa Catholic Elementary School, Bethlehem Catholic High School, Lehigh University and Drexel Law School. Now I have a family law practice in Allentown. I currently live in Lower Saucon Township. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and miniature dachshund, Blitz. I also volunteer for local animal rescue groups. I am a member of SS Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church.
The most important issue in the magisterial district judge race is improving access to the court. If elected, I will close my law practice and work full-time at the courthouse. My schedule would be approximately Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I would also implement a night court, which would run until 7:30 p.m. a few times per month. These night court sessions would be available for pro see litigants who are unable to take off of work to come into court. These improvements would benefit voters in three ways. First, the amount of time you have to wait to have your case heard would be greatly reduced. Second, these changes would reduce township costs. Currently, if the judge is not working and the police need a warrant they must drive to another judge’s office to have him or her sign it, which wastes the officers’ time and increases the township’s fuel costs. Third, night court would save litigants money because they would not need to take off of work every time they have to come into court.
I decided to run for District Magistrate to serve the people of the Hellertown/Lower Saucon Township area at the municipal level. I have served at the county level as a Probation Officer in Lehigh County. I have served the people of Pennsylvania in times of emergency during winter storms and hurricanes as a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and I have served the people of the United States through deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
I believe the number one issue facing the court is the need for a magisterial district judge who can devote 100 percent of their time to the job. Having a private practice or other business interests takes away from the ability to serve the community. I want to bring honor, respect and integrity back to Magisterial District 03-2-04. I believe there is a lack of professionalism that exists with the current magistrate.
I possess the qualifications required to do the job. I have nearly 10 years of experience in criminal justice with the Lehigh County Adult Probation Department. I have over 13 years of experience with juvenile justice through part-time employment with KidsPeace, Community Advocates and Bucks County Youth Services.
I have the education for the position. I possess both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in criminal justice. I obtained my Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice after returning from Afghanistan in 2004. I am currently scheduled to attend the certification course for Magisterial District Judges from June 1-26, 2015.
I have lived in Lower Saucon Township for the majority of my life. I was born in 1968 and lived in the township until 1994, when I was married. I moved back to the township in 2009 while going through a divorce. I am familiar with the criminal issues in the community and have a better understanding of the problems facing the community as a criminal justice professional. I also have an appreciation for the civil issues that come before magistrates. I have experience with contracts. I was a Contracting Officer Representative in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was required to review multimillion dollar contracts to ensure that providers were in compliance with the terms of the contract. I was required to conduct monthly evaluation reports on providers to validate that conditions of the contract were met and for payment to be made.
I served Lehigh County, my state and my country. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of the Hellertown/Lower Saucon Township area. Thank you.
DAVID W. TIDD
The choice of District Judge is an important one with significant impact on all of us.
Not only is the District Court where traffic and landlord-tenant cases are heard, but where bail is set and preliminary hearings held in serious criminal matters such as theft and homicide.
Prior to serving as your District Judge, I attended Villanova University where I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science in 1997. I then attended Temple University School of Law, graduating in 2001. I then opened my own law practice in Hellertown where I focused on criminal and family law and bankruptcy. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Saucon Valley Community Center and provide free legal services to those in need.
My education and experience has helped me greatly in addressing the challenges that face a District Judge. From the first day in office, the Judge is expected to be proficient in everything from the rules of evidence to what constitutes a legal and just sentence. My years of practice were instrumental in preparing me to meet these challenges
This combined experience has been instrumental in addressing what I believe to be the single most important issue facing our community–heroin.
Heroin is a highly addictive illegal drug that is often times less expensive to obtain than marijuana and it is destroying lives both young and old. The young through addiction, the older by having their lives torn apart by the addicted.
As District Judge I have addressed this scourge by seeing that those charged with heroin-related offenses are properly monitored and, if possible, treated pending final disposition of their case in County Court. Alternatively, if their case is disposed of in District Court, I impose sentences in such a way to combat addiction and further use. My Court has also been successful in addressing this epidemic by identifying where heroin is the underlying cause of other crime such as theft to support one’s addiction.
I seek re-election to continue to be able to apply my experience in service to the District. Appearance before an experienced and knowledgeable judge is the right of every citizen. I further desire to maintain the reputation of my Court for fair decisions grounded in sound legal reasoning and for bringing a balance to the just aims of law enforcement and our individual rights guaranteed in our State and Federal constitutions.