I am running for Whitefish Municipal Court Judge for one reason: to make the court and our community the best it can be.
My initial goal is to reduce your taxes. I will make the Judge position part time, with a corresponding reduction in salary, to save your tax bill. I want to increase efficiency.
I will use video arraignments to free county deputies for patrol rather than transporting prisoners. This will also make scarce jail space available for more serious offenders.
I will improve case resolution by implementing simple business practices, such as telephone conferences, so citizens will not miss work to resolve a parking ticket and visitors will not have to make multiple return visits for a traffic violation.
I will punish domestic violence. On average, a woman is beaten 25 times before she makes a police report. Women are killed by abusers at twice the rate of our troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fifty to 75 percent of those deaths are when she leaves her abuser. I will issue restraining orders when a victim makes the courageous decision to seek help, and will strongly punish domestic abusers.
I will protect our community from drunk drivers and those without insurance or licenses. These are not victimless crimes. I will impose maximum penalties, including treatment and interlock devices, to protect each of your families and our community.
I will do more with less of your tax dollars. You are being taxed for a new city hall, a new high school, and the Haskill Basin conservation easement. Soon you will be asked to pay for a new middle school and a new county jail. As I said, I will reduce the court’s budget, beginning with the judge’s salary.
I will bring experience to the job. I am the only candidate who has served as Brad Johnson’s sub-judge. As Brad’s sub-judge, I handled all cases when he was absent, had a conflict of interest or did not want to handle the case.
I have long been a public servant. I have lived and practiced law in Whitefish for 26 years. I have been Planning Board chairman, Flathead County’s Employer of Choice and the Whitefish Chamber’s Citizen of the Year.
For more information on my background, experience and goals, go to my website at www.tornowforwhitefish.com.
With all these things in mind, I respectfully ask for your vote in November so that together, we can make the court and our community the best it can be.
Tom Tornow, candidate
Whitefish Municipal Judge