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I hope Onalaska municipal Judge John Brinckman continues through the end of his term and that the voters re-elect him in 2020. Since municipal judges and city councils are co-equals in separate branches of government, John’s tenure doesn’t depend on city council resolutions or opinions.

Judge Brinckman works for a consortium of municipalities on Monday nights only. He presides over trials on various citations. For his services, he receives about $460 a week. Onalaska’s share is just a portion of that. He is not a full-time judge. He is not expected to be at City Hall five days a week doing clerical work. His critics should be ashamed for suggesting otherwise.

Onalaska is responsible for making sure the supervising clerk has things in order for him when he arrives. It’s a fiction to talk about him “not being around enough.” What are some city council members talking about?

Onalaska hired an accountant who failed to even ask John when he works. Her report makes it clear that she didn’t even know John is a part-time judge, who’s only there on Monday nights. It’s not John’s job to set up computer systems or to appear at City Hall during the week to record payments from people paying fines.

Onalaska has a very experienced municipal judge. Instead of wasting $8,000 on an accountant, the council should instead focus on insuring that the new clerk processes municipal court citations, so when my brother Judge Brinckman arrives on Monday nights, everything is in order.

Jeff Brinckman, Madison

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