LETTER: Current City Councilmembers endorse Municipal Court Judge

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader(s). It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Editors,

Hard work and integrity. Those are the characteristics that anyone serving in public office should aspire to, and commit themselves to. Those are the characteristics of Judge Veronica Galvan.

Unanimously appointed by the City Council, for six years she has demonstrated her hard work and integrity as our judge in one of the lower-profile (though most important) positions in City of Des Moines government. Only because of a recent change in state law does she have to stand for election.

While a separate part of the government, Judge Galvan has worked cooperatively with City staff to make streamlined improvements to our court. Her efforts have resulted in lower costs to the City, thus freeing up funds to be spent on closing our structural budget gap. On her own initiative, she applied for and received grants to make important changes to the court. All of these things have shown how Judge Galvan’s hard work has paid dividends to our citizens.

As our judge, Veronica Galvan has handle the position with dignity and integrity. Our citizens know that they will get a fair hearing before her, regardless of their background or what crime they have been charged with. Integrity is the key to our system of justice, and Judge Galvan has demonstrated that consistently over the years.

Our citizens and our City deserve a judge who will work hard to improve our court, and who will execute her duties with the utmost of integrity. It is for that reason we proudly endorse her for election.

Dave Kaplan
Matt Pina
Jeanette Burrage
Carmen Scott
Jeremy Nutting
Melissa Musser
Bob Sheckler

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2 Responses to “LETTER: Current City Councilmembers endorse Municipal Court Judge”
  1. Harry Steinmetz says:

    I am disappointed by the Council’s endorsement of Judge Galvan, because it all seems to be about her ability to fit into the system and there is not a word about her ability to bring justice to the citizens of Des Moines and Normandy Park. Judge Galvan is praised for her ability to find grant money for the court, and while that is great for a short term project, grants end. Then how do you fund the project that was started? The only place left to turn is the City’s general fund. For a council that often expresses concerns about our structural deficit, it seems odd that they would praise a judge that brings in short-term money with no long-term planing to sustain that level of spending.

    Additionally, I find it interesting that the word “justice” appears only once in the letter and that is in reference to the “system of justice” and not in Judge Galvan’s ability to deliver it.

    I’ve known Dave Gerhke for more than 5 years as a colleague and counsel for a Co-Defendant in a case. He is an outstanding lawyer. He has tried hundreds of cases and has appeared at every level of trial court in our state. He is truly a lawyer’s lawyers.

    Dave has also run a successful business in our community for 35 years. He knows how to run the court in a manner that is sustainable over the long haul and not just to meet this year’s budget number.

    A number of people were surprised that Dave would run for such a small court like ours. But when asked, his reply is that is where his heart is. His vision of early intervention with offenders and better utilization of the local resources are just what is needed in our community.

    Dave Gerhke’s vision of justice is to run a court where everyone is treated fairly, where the issues that brought the individual before the court are addressed and the community is protected from those who would harm it. This is ultimately the job of a judge and an endorsement should be based on the individual’s ability to deliver it.

    In my view, the Council is focused on the wrong thing.

  2. Pat Nardo says:

    Well, Harry, you are one friend that many would treasure to have and it is really great that you stand up for MR. Gehrke. We had the pleasure of meeting with him and found him to be likeable and well experienced in his field, but that field did not include sitting in judgment. Now we often take issue with our council on many issues and let them know our sentiments. This time, we believe very strongly that they are making a righteous choice in supporting incumbent JUDGE Galvan. This citizen would like to commend them for this and not without ill feelings toward Mr. Gehrke. We have friends that we like very much but that does not mean we believe they would be great public servants. This is not part of the qualifications. Let JUDGE Veronica Galvan enjoy her accomplishments by serving us further. Be assured, you will have your money well spent. MR. Gerhke would make a very good council member in Des Moines as we are I need of more legal experience.

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