Denise Randall, Guilderland judge candidate
Denise Randall, the Democratic incumbent up for re-election, said Stephen DeNigris’s assertions “betray a lack of understanding of what the job entails.”
Randall owns her own law practice in Guilderland, and said she has reduced her hours there in order to fulfill her obligations to the town court.
The hours of each of the current town judges add up to more than fulltime, she said, according to an audit performed by the town comptroller this year.
The town justices alternate being on-call 24 hours per day, seven days a week, in addition to presiding in court every other week.
“We do suppression hearings, bench trials, and jury trials during daytime hours,” she said. “On weekends, we go out doing warrants and orders of protection.”
“This is a job that requires the judge to be in the Guilderland Town Court many, many times a month,” she continued. “Sometimes you have to go in at the drop of a hat.”
Some of the proposals of her opponents are issues she has raised herself throughout her eight years as a town justice, including the idea of holding a separate youth court.
“I raised that issue with the town administration years ago, but it was turned down because of the extra expenses it would incur,” she said. “You can’t just come in and do whatever you want to do without the approval of the town.”
Randall pointed out that there had been no raises for town employees for the past several years, although there is a 2-percent raise built into the proposed budget for 2014.
“I have been focused on working extremely hard in the town court to help increase revenues,” she said, noting that court revenue had increased from $800,000 in 2005, when she was first elected, to $1.3 million last year.
“I have done that with a reduced staff, saving the town further money,” she said. “I prefer to address fiscal issues by working hard for the people of Guilderland.”
Randall said her campaign has emphasized her record with the town, and the improvements she has made during her administration.
“Generally, you want to elect someone who has a good sense of the community,” she said. “I live here, I work here, I’ve raised children here; if anyone knows the community, it is me.”