The Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously voted to suspend the arbitration hearings of the Salem County Courthouse Facility Lawsuit with the New Jersey Judiciary, during the August 15, 2018 board meeting.

Freeholder Director Melissa DeCastro stated, “As Freeholder Director of Salem County, I am thankful that the Freeholder Board has been granted a stay of arbitration after much discussion concerning the proposition of a new or renovated Courthouse. We very much thank the Judiciary for granting this stay, which will allow the Freeholders to again directly participate in discussing in a reasonable and understanding manner as to what Salem County can afford in a safe and efficient manner, while also saving on arbitration fees.”

The County appointed an Arbitrator in 2017 authorizing a proper defense of all claims by the Judiciary, respecting the Salem County Courthouse facility lawsuit.

“The Freeholder Board needs to be a part of any new plan for our Courthouse. We know some things that need to be improved as safety is paramount, but very conscious about the costs. Working with the Judiciary is a step in the right direction to be a part of the solution and protect the interest of the taxpayers,” said Scott Griscom, Freeholder, Chair of the Public Safety Committee.

The financial burden associated with arbitration hearings is directly placed upon the taxpayers and the preference of the current Administration is to use it as resource only if they cannot personally negotiate a settlement of the controversy.

“This is yet another wonderful example of all branches of government coming together with mutual understanding what is needed to fulfill the regulations of a Courthouse that will sustain the future;

yet be mindful of managing costs agreeing only to realistic needs,” stated DeCastro. “We are hoping the County and Judiciary can come to an agreement to address the basic critical areas as our mutual consideration is the safety of all who enter the facility.”

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