ANCRAM—Two candidates new to the political arena are in the running for one Town Justice seat in the November 6 Election.
The seat was previously held by Robert Wilcox, who resigned February 9 of this year after serving as Town Justice for 10 years. He had two years remaining in his term.
The Town Board decided not to appoint anyone to fill the post until the next election, but rather to ask Town Justice George Wittlinger take up the slack until someone new was elected in November this year. Mr. Wittlinger agreed.
Candidates for Town Justice are Republican Richard Novik and Democrat Cathy Redlich. Both candidates seek their first four-year term. Democratic Election Commissioner Virginia Martin explained to The Columbia Paper this week, that according to election law, rather than filling the remainder of a prior justice’s term, whenever a justice position opens up—candidates always run for a whole new term.
Profiles of the candidates follow alphabetically:
Richard Novik, 77, is running for town justice with the Republican and Independence party endorsements.
Mr. Novik is senior vice president of the New York State Broadcasters Association in Albany. He has been with the association for 13 years and has worked in broadcasting for nearly 30 years.
Born in Stamford, CT, Mr. Novik earned a BA degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, in 1962. He served in the US Army and National Guard from 1963 to 1969. He was named the Amber Alert Broadcaster of the Year by the US Department of Justice in December 2011.
He and his wife, Eugenia Novik, have lived in Ancramdale for more than 30 years. They have six grown children.
In a statement of issues, Mr. Novik wrote:
“I am running for town justice because I truly do love our Community and want to do public service.
“I have lived in Ancramdale for 30 years, and believe I know our Community, and values, well.
“I have learned a lot from the door-to-door campaign, and know I could be a good Town Judge. Thanks for your consideration.”
Cathy Redlich, 68, is an enrolled Democrat running for town justice with her party’s endorsement.
She has been an attorney for more than 30 years, specializing in criminal and civil litigation. She co-founded the firm Driscoll & Redlich, and continues to practice on a part-time basis from her home office in Ancramdale.
Born in Illinois, Ms. Redlich earned her BA and MA degrees at the University of Michigan and her JD at Harvard Law School.
She serves on two boards at the University of Michigan: the Dean’s Advisory Council and the English Advisory Board.
For 30 consecutive years she has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating, AV Preeminent, for legal ability and ethical standards.
Ms. Redlich served as a pro bono supervising attorney on the 2014 Clemency Project, an adjunct to the US Department of Justice’s Clemency Initiative, as well as on the board of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.
She is editor of the Ancram Town News, a member of the town’s Communications Committee and Climate-Smart Community Task Force. She is on the Board of Directors of the Ancram Opera House; has served as a Roe Jan Library Committee Chair (in various years); and is a licensed foster parent in Columbia County. She is co-founder and director of the Redlich Horwitz foundation, working with county and state government, and foster care agencies throughout NYS, to improve outcomes for foster youth, https://www.rhfdn.org . She helped launch the Columbia County Bail Fund, which funds the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents.
She and her husband, Rob Horwitz, have two grown daughters.
In her statement of issues, Ms. Redlich wrote:
“The town court is most people’s first and only encounter with NY’s judicial system, which is why town justices have a special responsibility to instill confidence in the fairness, integrity and competence of our courts.
“As an experienced litigator with an extensive knowledge of NY law and procedure, I am committed to making the court ‘user-friendly,’ recognizing that most individuals are appearing without counsel and deserve to feel respected and informed rather than frightened or confused. I also see the position as a natural platform for volunteer service outside the courtroom by engaging with schools to develop activities that bring civics and the law to life.”
Polls at the Ancramdale Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 15 County Route 8, Ancramdale and the Ancram Town Hall, 1416 County Route 7 are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the general election Tuesday, November 6.
To contact Diane Valden email