Elissa Killian and Mark Meddaugh
Family Court Judge
Race Heats Up
By Matt Youngfrau
SULLIVAN COUNTY November 1, 2002 In what is the envy of every politician, judges only run for office once every ten years. This year, time is up for the seat of Family Court Judge. Incumbent Republican Judge Mark Meddaugh faces Democrat challenger, attorney and Village of Liberty Justice Elissa Killian.
A Family Court Judge must be a leader both inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom, Meddaugh remarked. Inside the courtroom, the judge must be a leader to ensure the swift and permanent resolution of all cases. Outside the courtroom, the judge must be a leader and work with community organizations to initiate, or contribute to, programs designed to support the work of the Family Court. By being a leader outside of the court, the judge can enhance the effectiveness of the Family Court itself.
Meddaugh has been Family Court Judge since 1992. The last ten years have seen many changes in the Family Court system. There are 400 fewer cases in the system in 2001 as compared to 1993. That is during a time when population has increased 6.8 percent.
Meddaugh has helped to initiate programs locally such as the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which ensures that abused and neglected children receive the help they need. Meddaugh also recently started the Family Drug Treatment Court, a holistic approach to helping the entire family deal with substance abuse issues.
Meddaugh and his wife Robin have been married 25 years. They have three sons: Joshua, Jonathan, and Ryan. The entire family has been involved in the Rock Hill Fire Department. Meddaugh also involves himself in such community events as soccer and Little League.
For the past 17 years, it has been my honor to serve in the Sullivan County Family Court, first as the Hearing Examiner, and for the past ten years as the Family Court Judge, remarked Meddaugh. I have attempted to serve with the highest degree of integrity and dedication, and I believe that I have accomplished a great deal, both in the programs I have worked to create, and in maintaining the highest standards of professionalism.
I bring the perspective of the parent in court fighting for custody, representing the child in trouble, representing the sexually abused child as the prosecutor of the offender, Killian said. I pride myself on giving each individual care and attention. I offer respect to the accused as a human being and punish with contempt those who do not respect the court in return, while being fair and considerate.
Killian has an extensive background in Sullivan County, having been the local Teamsters attorney from 1988-2001. She was an Assistant District Attorney from 1987-1995 and served as Attorney for the Village of Liberty from 1996-1998. Currently, she is a judge in the Village of Liberty Court.
Killian has cited many problems within the Family Court system that she would like to change as Judge. If elected, Killian would be the first female Family Court Judge in Sullivan County history, and she would like to speed up the time it takes to process divorce and custody cases.
I have the experience , dedication and ability to make the changes necessary to improve our Family Court system, stated Killian. I intend to be the first woman Family Court Judge in the history of Sullivan County, not just because I am a woman, but because I am the right person for the job.
Killian has been married to Patrick for 12 years. They have four children.
Other Races Face
County Voters Tuesday
By Matt Youngfrau
NEW YORK STATE November 1, 2002 Throughout New York State and Sullivan County, there are many races taking place on Election Day this Tuesday (polls are open from 6 a.m.- 9 p.m.).
Voters will have plenty of choices. Four statewide offices, two county referendums, and a town race join races for Family Court Judge and Sullivan County Legislature Districts 3 and 4.
The top race in the state is for Governor. Incumbent Republican George Pataki faces Democrat New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall and Independent Tom Golisano, a Rochester businessman. Pataki is seeking his third term, while McCall, who gave up his Comptroller office, and Golisano are newcomers.
Not so well-known is the race for Lieutenant Governor. Incumbent Republican Mary Donohue faces Democrat Dennis Mehiel.
Donohue has served with Pataki during his tenure in office, while Mehiel is a private businessman in New York City.
Governor and Lieutenant Governor are voted on the same line. Other lines include Independence (B. Thomas Golisano and Mary Donohue), Conservative (Pataki and Donohue), Liberal (Andrew Cuomo and Charles King), Right to Life (Gerard Cronin and Stasia Vogel), Green (Stanley Aronowitz and Jennifer Daniels), Working Families (McCall and Mehiel) Marijuana Reform (Thomas Leighton and Thomas Hillgardner), and Libertarian (Scott Jeffrey and Jay Greco).
There is also a race for New York State Comptroller. With McCall aiming for governor, both candidates will be new to the office. Republican John Faso faces Democrat Alan Hevesi. Faso has been a strong Republican Party leader and has expertise in state finances. Hevesi has been New York Citys comptroller and has many years of governmental fiscal experience.
Other lines for Comptroller are Independence (Faso), Conservative (Faso), Liberal (Hevesi), Right to Life (Garifalia Christea), Green (Howie Hawkins), Working Families (Hevesi) and Libertarian (James Eisert).
The next race is for New York State Attorney General. Democrat incumbent Eliot Spitzer faces Republican Dora Irizarry. Spitzer has had an impressive record of prosecuting and won some landmark cases. Irizarry, however, is the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a Court of Claims Judge.
Other lines for Attorney General are Independence (Spitzer), Conservative (Irizarry), Liberal (Spitzer), Right to Life (John Broderick), Green (Mary Jo Long), Working Families (Spitzer) and Libertarian (Daniel Conti Jr.).
For New York State Senator, Republican incumbent John Bonacic has no major party opponent. His two opponents are from the Right to Life (Matthew Tierney) and Libertarian (Jennifer Rog).
Lumberland Town Clerk
In the Town of Lumberland, there is an election for Town Clerk. The only candidate is incumbent Republican Virginia Horn.
Town of Callicoon Proposition
There is a proposition in the Town of Callicoon: Shall the term for the elective office of Town of Callicoon Superintendent of Highways be increased from two years to a four-year term?
Town of Cochecton Proposition
The last ballot item in the county is in the Town of Cochecton: Shall the Town of Cochecton, Sullivan County, New York establish a Department of Public Works which shall administer the towns property maintenance, highway, solid waste, sanitary sewer functions and such additional functions as may be assigned by the Town Board, thereby abolishing the elective office of Superintendent of Highways of the Town of Cochecton effective midnight of the thirty-first day of December 2003 and creating the appointive office of Commissioner of Public Works for the Town of Cochecton commencing on January 1, 2004, as provided for in Local Law No. 5 of 2002?