Thursday, June 21, 2012



By Alan Miller, Candidate for Judge Superior Court II

Efficiency and Fiscal Responsibility

Today, I will discuss the role of fiscal responsibility in our justice system. The amount of money spent on the administration of justice in our county is remarkable. Each year, it is the one of the biggest, if not the biggest, expenditure in the county’s budget. This fact does not account for unbudgeted items such as grant income, which only increases the total amount spent. To compound the problem, the sheer number of different budgets and funds used within the system make it extremely difficult to determine where money is going, and even more difficult to assign accountability for those expenditures.  

I can help to cut future costs by applying the decision-making abilities and self-discipline I have developed as a small business owner.


Just this week, our county council voted to spend at least $9 million from the county savings account to fund the jail expansion project. This comes on the heels of expenditures for the continued expansion of the courthouse campus. It is now too late to undo some of these decisions. However, now that nearly 50% of the county savings account has been exhausted, we must examine the way our justice system operates to ensure that such expenditures do not need to be incurred again in the near future.  

The vast majority of families in this county must scrutinize how their money is spent on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. Similarly, a responsible small business owner must scrutinize where his or her business is spending its money. If something costs too much, one finds a more economical alternative. This same idea should apply to our courts. 

When elected, I will run the court in a fiscally responsible manner. I will review operating costs line-by-line and make cuts where necessary. I will work to find more economical alternatives to other items in the budget.


A good amount of the revenue coming into the court system comes from those using court resources: criminal defendants. This will continue to be the case if I am elected. Taxpayers should not be responsible for the financial consequences of someone else’s bad behavior. That responsibility should fall squarely on the shoulders of the individuals who cannot comply with society’s rules. If elected,I will review where and if these fees can be appropriately increased in accordance with the law.  

By increasing income to the court and decreasing spending in this manner, potential revenue could be created which would decrease the taxpayer obligations to this particular court.  

This is the fifth part of my platform statement; a detailed proposal for how to improve our current justice system. It will be released over the next several months through and PLEASE feel free to forward this to your friends and family.
Thanks for your continued support
Alan Miller


Anonymous said...

How do criminal defendants contribute to the revenue coming into the court system?

Anonymous said...

Fines, Fees, Restitution.....
Would be my guess.

Anonymous said...

Unless they're white collar criminals they probably haven't the funds to pay fines and fees.

Restitution, though, makes sense. I say forget locking up low level drug offenses! Have them do community service instead. It's a win win situation. Taxpayers don't have to pay to house them and they (the lawbreakers) can do something productive; to contribute as well as to engage in a positive way with their community.

Anonymous said...

This is Part 5 of Miller's "We Can Do Better" Series.

The problem is he seems to have no idea what he is actually going to if he were to be elected. Anyone can say he is going to "run the court in a fiscally responsible manner." He gives ZERO examples of how he is going to do it...

He also talks about the jail expansion and courthouse renovations. I don't think Judge Blankenship has nothing to do with that spending. Whether it is a good or bad idea is irrelevant in the election for Judge. Seems to be that Mr. Miller just picks random issues that might be hot button topics in Dearborn County and blames them on Judge Blankenship. Shameful.

Really - I am just sick of people running for office and mudslinging and tearing people down. Especially when they start Part 1 of their series by saying they will not be name calling and mudslinging. Seems that if he can't even keep his lies from truths during his campaign, he might not be the best candidate for a judicial officer.

Seems like if one were to elect someone like that to the bench, there would be not a single good thing to come of it...

Anonymous said...

I like Alan and plan to vote for him. His stand about the jail expansion made a lot of sense.
Now that's a hit button issue he can run on!

HK said...

Anonymous said:'He also talks about the jail expansion and courthouse renovations. I don't think Judge Blankenship has nothing to do with that spending. Whether it is a good or bad idea is irrelevant in the election for Judge."
Policies and judicial behavior have an impact on jail space. Judges determine who sits in jail by giving large bonds on one end and sentencing on the other. Renovations and expansion of the campus are needed due to expanding programs, inefficiencies, and duplicate services. How many probation departments do we have?Hmmm?


Miller seems to be thinking about the problems he sees. What is Blankenship doing? She's been appointed to the position and elected once- as no one challenged her. Has she become cozy and complacent until now?

Anonymous said...

Blankenship will win because she has the bigger war chest. Heck, with enough money even I could be elected to high office!

war chest buys office? said...

So you are saying she can buy her office?
How do you know she has a bigger war chest?

Anonymous said...

The political coffers of every candidate running for office was listed here on the PUBLIC FORUM.

And as for buying an office: the more money a pol has the better his/her chances of winning office. This is not exactly fresh perspective.