To the Editor:
This letter is written to support Judge Joe Trout and his re-election as the Circuit Court Judge of Clay County.
Judge Trout possesses exceptional qualities that make him an outstanding judge.
These qualities became evident to me as past principal of Northview High School.
Judge Trout cares about all Clay County citizens, especially young people.
This fact became readily apparent when he chose to lead the school/court initiative of Court Ordered Placement for Education (C.O.P.E.) program.
The C.O.P.E. program has greatly reduced discipline problems at Northview High School.
Statistics reveal an overwhelming number of students do not return to the C.O.P.E. program after being assigned to the penalty the first time.
School personnel find that while in the program, students complete their homework, receive counseling help, earn better grades and contribute to community projects.
The negative alternative would be students who run the streets with out-of-school suspension, unsupervised and without meaningful activities to occupy their days.
Judge Trout takes his time to make the court portion of C.O.P.E. more valuable to students.
In a fatherly manner, he explains to each young person the law that pertains to his/her case and the importance of making wise decisions.
C.O.P.E. would not be possible without Judge Trout's willingness to expend the extra time, effort and energy for the community.
Frequently seen at Clay Community Schools' athletic and extra-curricular functions, Judge Trout's presence indicates his support of young people in this community on several levels.
I have also observed Judge Trout as a guest speaker in government classrooms, sparking student interest and understanding of how our judicial system works.
Consistently well received by Northview students, faculty and staff, in addition to other schools within the county, he further promotes student achievement by serving on scholarship and grant writing committees.
He offers well considered insights and wise guidance to these groups.
Judge Joe Trout is a hard working, respected lifelong member of our community who we can trust to do the right thing.
Obviously well connected to our schools within our community, he sees young people as a valuable resource.
Judge Trout was born to a Clay County family that reinforced service and value by holding our county in high regard, as well as future generations.
His common sense decisions follow that pattern on the bench.
Quite simply, Judge Trout represents the best values of our community.
He practices well the task of implementing solid goals, values and respect for the future of Clay County.
I sincerely hope that you will support Judge Trout for re-election as Circuit Court Judge.