Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 18, 2014

Council to decide fate of Goshen City Court

Discussion set for Tuesday

GOSHEN — The fate of Goshen City Court could be decided this Tuesday.

That’s the word from Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman, who has announced that consideration of an ordinance to abolish Goshen City Court will be included on the agenda for Tuesday’s Goshen City Council meeting.

Kauffman, who supports the court’s closure due primarily to concerns over the cost of its continued operation, noted in a recent memo to council members that a number of circumstances have recently combined to provide the city with a solid foundation for considering the court’s abolishment.

In explaining his thought process, Kauffman first noted that the city is not required by Indiana statutes to operate a city court, and instead does so mostly as a convenience to city residents.

“State of Indiana had preferred to eliminate city courts for some time,” Kauffman said in the letter. “First push was because many were not efficiently managed. Judges still don’t need to be attorneys, and there were some squirrely decisions coming from city courts. The most inefficient and ineffective city courts went away years ago. The better ones survived. Goshen has not had a history of judges other than attorneys, nor a reputation for weird decisions.”

That said, Kauffman then pointed to the fact that the court has been operating at a substantial deficit for many years, which in turn requires coverage by a subsidy from property tax revenues. As an example, Kauffman noted that by his calculations, total expenses for the court in 2013 came to $295,000, while the total revenue generated by the court came to approximately $130,000, leading to a net loss for the year of about $165,000.

“It hasn’t paid for itself in years ... maybe never,” Kauffman said of the court. “The subsidy last year, when one includes all personnel expenses, was approximately $150,000. We would need to be a whole lot more aggressive to fill this kind of hole. Presuming a similar subsidy from property taxes in the future, it will be $600,000 subsidy until the next opportunity to close city court.”

Text Only
Local News

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament