President Judge Timothy Creany, as anticipated, is proposing to eliminate two of the county’s 10 district judges’ seats in a realignment of magisterial districts.
Creany’s plan goes on public display Wednesday for 30 days and then will be submitted to the state Supreme Court for approval.
If it gets the OK of the state court, the districts of Max Pavlovich, whose office is in Richland Township, and Charity Nileski, with an office in Cresson Township, would be eliminated in January 2014.
The areas covered by the eliminated districts would go to other district judges within the county.
Creany said Monday that under the realignment, the caseloads and workloads – which give more weight to criminal cases than other types – would be more equally divided.
“We’re able to get pretty close parity with this plan. And we looked at the cost savings as well by eliminating two districts,” he said.
The seats will be eliminated by attrition, with both Pavlovich and Nileski retiring at the end of 2013.
Pavlovich will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70, while Nileski, who could run next year and serve one year until she turns 70, has chosen to leave the bench rather than seek re-election.
Creany noted that state Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille is calling for eliminating 40 of the magisterial judges across the state in the realignments, with the goal to do it by attrition.
The review of the magisterial districts is done every 10 years following the U.S. census.
“I’m optimistic we’ll get approval,” the judge said.
District Judge John Barron of Upper Yoder Township and District Judge Rick Varner would end up with the Pavlovich district, while some of the Barron-Varner areas would be spun off to neighboring district judges.
The large Richland Township district would be split along the Bedford Street-Elton Road line, with the southern portion going into Barron’s region and the northern to Varner.
County residents have until March 30 to submit comments to Creany on the proposed realignments. That can be done by email at email@example.com or by writing to him at the courthouse in Ebensburg.
The plan and maps can be viewed on the county’s website, www.co.cambria.pa.us.
In addition, copies of the plan will be available at the district judges’ offices and at the courthouse.
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