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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Justice of the Peace candidate answers questionaire

Steve Walker (photo)
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Pl. 1
Democratic candidate

The San Antonio Lightning Newspaper is beginning a series of candidate debates to allow the candidates the opportunity to present themselves to the voters and distinguish themselves from their opponent in the General Election. This is the first in the series.

Race: Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Place 1

Democratic candidate Steve Walker

1. Why do you qualify for Justice of the Peace?

As a retired teacher with 26 years in the classroom, I bring a wealth of experience in dealing with the epidemic of truancy offenses which will constitute 40 percent of the cases that will come before my court when I take the bench in January 2009.

A Justice of the Peace traditionally is a person from the community who not only knows the community, but has worked extensively in the community to make it a safer place to live and raise children. He is called the People’s Judge.

The three school districts under the jurisdiction of Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Place 1 include: SAISD, Edgewood ISD & Northside ISD. Having taught in the first two and supervised student teachers in the later, I have close ties with all three school communities.

As a former four-term Balcones Heights Councilman, I also have experience with accountability to residents who will put their trust in me to make the right decisions.

The position does not require a Justice of the Peace to be a lawyer for a reason. A Justice of the Peace needs to listen to all sides of an issue and not be predisposed to favor one side or another like a former prosecutor, defense lawyer or even a corporate attorney.

Calling on the Wisdom of Solomon, the Judge must weigh all the facts and evidence presented to formulate a decision that benefits both parties with compassion and a sense of fairness. This same standard of fairness must also be applied to evictions, small claims and traffic tickets.

2. The Court is called Justice of the Peace. Define your concept of "Justice" and "Peace."

“Justice” is defined as meting out fairness in regard to punishment of wrongdoing.

“Peace” is defined as a state free from civil disobedience.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., once said ‘the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.”

By evaluating and establishing the facts in each case before me, I can rule in a fair and just manner to meet the criteria of Justice and hopefully ensure Peace.

3. Do you have any further political aspirations besides JP?

4. Finally, how can you help the community from beyond the bench?

By reaching out and working with communities to focus on solutions to the problems that hinder the community and cause the truancy rate to skyrocket and the drop out rate to soar.

It will take a concerted effort on every ones part to re-direct young people and those at odds with the judicial system into contributing to the community, rather than abusing the system.

Steve Walker served 30-years in the Army Reserve to include Vietnam & Desert Storm. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of the Incarnate Word & currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Wayland Baptist University.

To view Walker's opponent's response-click on link:

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