Two candidates will battle it out across several party lines for Grand Island town justice this primary Tuesday.
Incumbent Town Justice Mark Frentzel is being challenged by newcomer Joy M. Carrier Lamarca on the Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Family party lines.
A former police officer and attorney practicing on Grand Island for 28 years, Frentzel said he has experience working in each of the courtrooms in Erie County and has worked on cases in every specialty of law.
As town justice, he formed a dispute-resolution program to mediate small claims. He also created a private entrance and waiting area for victims of domestic violence attending court, upgraded the courtroom and added security cameras.
If elected to a third term, Frentzel said he would work on “boutique courts,” in which Grand Island would collaborate with other towns and cities to send certain cases, such as those involving domestic violence or drugs, to courts that specialize in those issues.
“Cost-wise, it’s more effective. For example, there is already a drug court that has the facilities, the drug testing, the counseling all right there every day,” he said.
Lamarca, a North Buffalo native, has been practicing law for 10 years – most recently with Block & Longo in Buffalo. She specializes in real estate but said she has experience working on several types of court cases, including family and justice cases.
Lamarca feels she offers a fresh eye and, if elected, said she would like to implement a cost-saving system where arraignments could be done via Skype.
“I’ve never been one to jump into politics, but I think it’s a great way to get involved with the community and put my roots down in Grand Island,” she said.