As an Albany resident, I encourage everyone to retain Judge Fay Stetz-Waters as Circuit Court Judge. Linn County is choosing between the justice of the past — rigid ideas that have not worked very well — and the justice of the future –emphasizing solving problems.

By tempering justice with mercy, effective judges protect the community and find ways for defendants to rehabilitate. It’s important, because when you imprison someone you also imprison their family. Fay considers that, and her Board of Parole experience means she won’t be buffaloed. Prosecutors often see a conviction as a win against the bad guys, and don’t look beyond it. That is why two committees of local judges and lawyers chose Judge Fay as the best candidate for the Circuit Judge position, and recommended her to the governor late last year.

Most court cases are civil and not criminal. Judge Fay has experience in poverty law and administrative law, as well as Board of Parole. Mike Wynhausen only has criminal justice experience. What about custody, divorce, or water law cases?

Mr. Wynhausen has turned this judge retention vote into a political contest, and seems more concerned about his career than what is best for Linn County. He has implied that Judge Fay is a carpetbagger, when she has lived in Linn County for over 10 years.

Seven current and retired Oregon Court judges and justices endorsed Judge Fay, compared to one judicial endorsement for Mike Wynhausen. The Oregon State Bar recommends Judge Fay Stetz-Waters; me too.

Renate Riffe

Albany (Oct. 19)

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