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Romans Best Pick

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    Posted: Oct 20 2008 at 8:54pm

Romans best pick for Juvenile Court

Monday, October 20, 2008

Concern for the welfare of children and families is a primary qualification for Butler County Juvenile Court judge. Both the current judge, Kathleen Dobrozsi Romans, and her challenger in the Nov. 4 election, Tim Evans, fill the bill.

The judgeship opened after Judge David Niehaus died this past summer. On Sept. 5, Romans was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland to fill the vacant seat.

Romans, a Middletown native, brings to the job 25 years of experience in juvenile court, serving as a magistrate, assistant prosecuting attorney and guardian ad litem from 1983 until her appointment as judge.

She graduated from Miami University with a bachelor's degree in education. She earned her law degree from the University of Dayton in 1983. She was a teacher before becoming an attorney.

Evans has lived in Hamilton much of his life. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and economics from the University of Cincinnati in 1971 and his law degree from that university in 1974.

Early in his career, Evans worked for law firms before going into private practice in 2006. He has taken part in more than 100 jury trials in state and federal courts, including three as acting judge. He has served as acting judge for the city of Hamilton and county courts, and as an arbitrator and mediator for Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Evans and Romans agree that, like many other agencies and departments in Butler County, the Juvenile Court is facing the challenge of how to handle a rapidly growing volume of cases with less money. The solution to that situation, the candidates say, is more efficient caseload management and a careful evaluation of which programs must be continued and which can be reduced or eliminated.

Both candidates want to see the court tap into community resources such as LifeSpan and Transitional Living Inc. to help repair dysfunctional families, one of the primary causes of school truancy and subsequent juvenile crime. Also available are members of CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocates — to help ease the court's caseload.

Both candidates are well qualified for the Juvenile Court bench. Children and families — not to mention justice — would be well served by either Romans or Evans.

However, the candidates differ most clearly on their reasons for seeking the judgeship.

Evans said he is running because "I'm interested in the job" and the Juvenile Court seat would be "a nice way to close out my career."

Romans' life has been devoted to children's issues and she speaks passionately about the legal, social and family problems that cause juveniles to take a wrong turn in life and who need not only correction but education and protection. Further, Romans made it clear she is committed to carrying the court forward as Judge Niehaus would have.

Both candidates are knowledgeable and capable, but we believe Kathleen Dobrozsi Romans is the better choice for Butler County Juvenile Court judge.

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